The recently concluded Genoa International Boat Show 2014 demonstrated to be an amazing instrument for the recovering of the Italian nautical sector. A new atmosphere was perceived on the stands and along the piers, with satisfied exhibitors as well as visitors. A special enthusiasm was spread within the sectors of sailing and motor boats, both small and medium sized ones. There was a very positive feedback from foreign press, important increase in social media users as well as huge success for sea trials. Quality of services showed an enhanced favorable perception.
The final feedback at the end of these six days of exhibition goes beyond all expectations. The first clearly positive figure is the one concerning public turnout: not very far from last year’s data, the Genoa Boat Show confirms to be the most attended in the Mediterranean area, with over 109.200 visitors.
According to the Nautical National Observatory, which has carried out its usual qualitative estimation for this year too, good results have also been registered in terms of potential turnover developed during this edition. Over half of the operators (53,8%) has declared to be more satisfied than last year in terms of quality of established contacts with clients compared to the previous edition (28,8% were in line with the previous year perception – see details in the bottom of this press release).
These figures perfectly reflect the operators enthusiasm for an exhibition that has gone back to its role of proper marketplace where boats, accessories and nautical-designated services are actually being sold.
The piers were filled with lots of people, really very crowded, but the bustle inside the stalls and at the desks where contracts are signed was worth noticing too. The Boat Show has, therefore, proved itself to be able to decode the actual market situation and to be easily adjustable.
The 2014 Boat Show is the first to be coordinated by I Saloni Nautici SpA. Its“governance” is based on the needs and the requests of UCINA Associates. The main goal was the one to create a modern and efficient structure for the exhibition, due to the difficulties emerged in the previous editions. Therefore, a realistic three-years plan for the recovery of the exhibition has been designed: the calendar for the confirmed 55th edition is scheduled from the 30th of September to the 5th of October 2015. The very good outcome in terms of both presences and operators satisfaction is the proof of how this work is already giving its first significant results. Quality of spaces and structures is the topic on which the necessity to work for the future is perceived.
What has gotten better for sure is quality of services, starting from the catering and food service, which thanks to the collaboration of UCINA with Eataly has made a great step forward. A evident visitors’ and exhibitors’ perception of living a much more efficient, functional and pleasant Boat Show was perceived among the stalls and on the piers. In addition to that, a clearly solid satisfaction of the Show sponsors and partners, which have already confirmed their cooperation for next year.
Among the other strengths of the Show, the great success of the “sea experience”, which gave the possibility to try sailing, motor, and inflatable boats, stands out. The sea trips organised by the various brands have been over 1.300, featuring nearly 3.000 involved people. FIV-Federazione Italiana Vela (Italian Sailing Federation) and “Navigar m’è dolce” – the initiative by UCINA to promote nautical activities – have furthermore deployed a small army of very young people, with over 1.200 young sailors who had their very first experience in Genoa water.
A very good feedback was registered for meetings and conferences too, organised with the support of ITA (Italian Trade Agency, ex ICE) between Operators, foreign press and the exhibitors who adhered to the initiative. If one of the main objectives of this year’s edition was to aim at the internationalisation of the Show, the 500 meetings organised between foreign buyers and exhibitors and the 960 press-matches that took place represent a very good result. In total, the foreign operators invited by ITA were 108 – among who 68 journalists coming from 30 countries. Among the most represented countries: USA, Germany, India, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Russia, Spain, and China (Hong Kong included).
Communication becomes more innovative as well. An unprecedented success on Social Media was registered. During the first 5 days, 300.000 people visualised at least one content on the Facebook page, with over 40.000 interactions. The global record of Boat Show with the highest number of fans has been confirmed, with a total of over 25.000 fans and an increase of 38% from last year. The Boat Show website recorded 400.000 visited pages and 63.500 unique visitors, with an average of visit length of 3’30”. The Twitter channel revealed itself as effective too, with an increase of 22% in terms of followers during the exhibition week.
Massimo Perotti, President of Ucina: “ The conclusion of the Show confirms the trend inversion announced in May, beyond all expectations. Sales are increasing, but the nautical trade cannot grow on its own. Ucina strategy is to aim at the Genoa International Boat Show with energy, strength, and determination. A market cannot rise again alone, but it needs to be incentivised and an intervention is needed for its recovery. 2014 is to be considered a “year zero” from where to start again, we need the support of all the partners both to relaunch the market and reinforce the Boat Show.”
Anton Francesco Albertoni, President of I Saloni Nautici SpA: “For this first edition, entirely coordinated by the new organisation, we aimed at reaching over 100.000 visitors, and we actually managed to achieve it. We are going to use the Wednesday to Monday six days- formula next year too. The incentive in terms of quality of this edition has been appreciated by the public and by the exhibitors, and it needs to grow with this system of excellence that features the boat as its main point of interest. I would like to thank all the team of I Saloni Nautici, who was able to renew and to create, through commitment and competence, an efficient and competitive Boat Show”.
Sara Armella, President of Fiera di Genova SpA, said: “The road undertaken is the right one: the direct involvement of the Association even in the organisation aspect of the Show has revealed to be useful for enterprises, which have been frequently asking for a less traditional approach, and for more efficiency and simplification. The more plain and competitive restoration work carried out by Fiera di Genova represents an essential condition to guarantee the endurance and the relaunch of such an excellent and international exhibition”.
Pietro Vassena, owner of Lepanto Yachting and Ucina spokesman for the ‘small nautical production’, stated: “A different atmosphere is perceived: more smile and less moans are ‘readable’ on the operators’ faces. Putting the past aside, there are small signs of improvement in the market trend. There has been a good turnout, but the important thing is the interested consumers. We sold goods to people distant from the nautical world. There is an enormous difference between keep conducting a transaction for months and then conclude it at the Boat Show and, on the other hand, finding customers who get in the exhibition and actually buy, like it happened this year”.
Fabio Planamente, General Manager of Cantieri del Pardo and Ucina spokesman for sailing sector: “As for the sailing sector, we are warily optimistic: it went beyond all expectations. We came back to sell within the Show. We had a lot of contacts and the next 3-4 weeks will be crucial to confirm this optimism”.
Andrea Razeto, from F.lli Razeto & Casareto Spa and Ucina representative for the accessories field, said: “To us, this Show is more a showcase than a business one, and in this terms we registered a certain optimism. A better atmosphere is clearly breathed, if compared to previous editions, there is more bustle and we recorded a much higher presence of journalists as well.
Details of the qualitative estimation by the Nautical National Observatory
As usual, the Nautical National Observatory has carried out a qualitative estimation for the 54th edition of the Boat Show. The evaluation has been conducted by interviewing the operators, among which a sample of 10% of the exhibiting companies was selected and divided, in accordance with goods sectors, in three main areas: First Purchase (Pavilion B, accessories area, dingeys, outboard); Sailing Area (small dockyard, Motorboats area, Sailing World, accessories, Centerboards); Power Area (big dockyard, Motorboats, Yachts, Power Village).
The majority of the Operators (53,8%) declared to be more satisfied, compared to last year, in terms of clients contact quality (28,8% remained in line with last year’s perception). The Show has been defined as better groomed than in the past by over 65% of the exhibitors of the Power and Sailing Areas.
The Show functionality has been defined in line with the past by 80% of the First Purchase Area exhibitors – remaining therefore unchanged compared to last year innovation – and it recorded the widespread satisfaction of 61,5% of the Power Area interviewees, and 50% of them for the Sailing Area.
Among the aspects to improve, in the first place quality and maintenance of the fair district, indicated by 45,8% of the operators. The second place is occupied by the enhancement of the parking areas.