Room enough for two

The BIA has stepped in to offer a solution to the clash of the Queensland boat shows, and the result is that the Expo has been rebranded as the Gold Coast International Boat Show, rescheduled for March.

Photography by Gold Coast International Boat Show

21 November 2016


The Gold Coast Marine Expo has rebranded as the Gold Coast International Boat Show and Marine Expo and changed its dates to March, 10 weeks prior to the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show.

The clash with Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show was avoided with the change of dates to 17 to 19 March 2017. In 2016, both shows ran concurrently, 19 to 22 May, causing consternation among many exhibitors over which show to attend.

Wanting to create separation and establish stand-alone events, organisers on both sides sought counsel from the Boating Industry Association (BIA).

“The industry came to the BIA seeking guidance on how we could assist with the challenges of both shows running concurrently,” explained Domenic Genua, national manager, marketing and events BIA. “We worked with both parties for six months to find a resolution. The best option was if the BIA supported the Gold Coast Marine Expo to deliver the show 10 weeks prior to what was planned.

“We agreed that we would support that move. Support from the BIA will be in the form of assistance with providing operations people, guidance with planning media and back of house accounting to support their processes.”

Pictured above left to right: Paul Phelan (Telwater), Trenton Gay (Gold Coast City Marina and Shipyard), Rodney Longhurst (Riviera), Howard Glenn (BIA), Patrick Gay (BIA), Alan Blake (BIA), Stephen Milne (Riviera) and Domenic Genua (BIA).

Organisers state that the change of dates will allow exhibitors to participate in either or both events. “Exhibitors will be able to make a decision based on which event fulfills their business objectives,” said Domenic Genua.

“We believe it will be a positive opportunity for the Expo and the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show to create their own identity and that of their products and offerings. Consumers can therefore select which is best for them.”

Both shows are major contributors to the region’s economy. Based on direct sales for exhibitors, the Expo has in the past two years alone injected over $100 million into the Gold Coast and Queensland economies. The Sanctuary Cove Boat Show in its almost 30-year history facilitates up 300 exhibitors each year.

“The BIA believe that both shows have purpose and we want them both to succeed equally. Any show that is successful is good for the boating industry, so that we can encourage more people to participate in the beauty of the boating lifestyle,” stated Genua.


The Expo’s event and marketing manager Emma Brown says the support of the BIA is immensely significant and welcomed. “The skills, resources and experience the BIA brings to the table will be invaluable for our boat show, and for our industry as a whole.”

The venue, the Gold Coast Marine Precinct at Coomera, remains the same. The date change makes the Expo the first major event of the 2017 Australian boat show season. Initially created by marine industry leaders in the extremely tough economic times of 2011 to help the boat industry get back on its feet, the Gold Coast International Marine Expo has grown over the years to attract over 100,000 visitors during that time, many of them new to the boating life. 2016 was their biggest show in six years.

The timing of this March event is seasonally important for boating enthusiasts and it also opens up an exciting opportunity for our industry to continue to innovate and grow,” said Howard Glenn, Boating Industry Association national chief executive.


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