Watersports attractions drew crowds to NBS & Dive Expo
24 Sep 2012
The weekend of 7-9 September was ‘watersport weekend‘ in Johannesburg, as the city‘s original and best-loved National Boat Show & Dive Expo (NBS) unveiled the latest products, trends and technologies in watersports to enthusiastic visitors, at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding.
The show marked the 10th anniversary of what has become a landmark event on the Johannesburg watersport calendar with the biggest scuba diving exhibit and attractions in its history.
“The significant growth this year in the Dive Expo was immensely gratifying, as was the concomitant growth in the representation of other watersports, including fishing and wakeboarding among others. Visitor feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with most saying they thoroughly enjoyed the expo‘s dedication to its watersports market and visitor. With no irrelevant exhibits to water it down, NBS offered visitors the chance to explore a wide variety of watersports under one roof,” says Heidi Warricker, managing director of Biz Events, organiser of NBS.
Scuba diving exhibitors were equally gratified with the results of the show and were quick to congratulate the organisers. The Divetek Team sent this message: “Thank you, the show was wonderful. We had a busy-busy stand thanks to all your marketing and time. We will definitely see you again next year. Our sales went bonkers.” Greg Holmes of Jozi Divers echoed this sentiment, adding that he “loves ‘Dive Expo‘ forever!”
The show‘s inaugural Pre-Owned Buyers Sellers Pavilion in partnership with Auto Trader South Africa was another feather in its cap and one whose success validated the organisers‘ decision to cater to its visitors‘ growing demand for access to pre-owned boats, jet skis and more.
“Frankly we had never before considered hosting a pre-owned pavilion at the show, but people want what they want and we didn‘t celebrate 10 successful years of NBS by not giving visitors what they ask for! So in view of the demand for this addition to the show and the justification inherent in the sluggish economy, we partnered with Auto Trader to present the pre-owned pavilion and the result was extremely successful,” adds Warricker.
Theo Hattingh of Superior Boats is an exhibitor who tried out the pre-owned pavilion to promote the Bryant range of handmade American boats. He comments: “The recent show has been a huge success for us, and the response many times greater than we expected. We sold one of our flagship models, on the show, and as result received an order for a new top of the range model. We also received many genuinely interested queries from customers and anticipate that we‘ll close at least another 2-4 sales as a direct result of people seeing the product. That represents more sales than what we have had in the past 24 months.”
Key attractions at the show included: the perennially popular Wake Wars at the Monster Energy Wakesport Zone; the live SA Rugby at the SAB Bar and Peroni CafÃ©; the Boat Building Clinic & Careers workshop presented by the Boat Building Academy of the False Bay College; the Go Fish Kayak and Jetski Fishing Clinics; the Boatyard Farmers Market; the Fishing Simulator; the Try Dive Pool & Dive Tank; and the Beaming Kids Kidz Zone, to skim just the surface of a programme that was stuffed to the gills with action events and attractions.
Exhibitor and head of the False Bay College‘s Boat Building Academy, Achmat Geyer was another satisfied show participant, who said NBS had a positive impact on the college in terms of awareness and equity, with two subsequent course registrations being achieved in the immediate wake of the show.
Hilda Gabriel, general manager, marketing and eventing for South Coast Tourism added that the show was an extremely worthwhile exercise for the destination.
Warricker concludes, “In the 10 years since we first developed and during which we have grown and nurtured NBS, the show has never failed to reward our efforts to satisfy visitors with innovative attractions and to compensate exhibitors with a well planned, marketed and executed event that puts as much effort into growing the watersports industry as into bringing feet to their exhibits on the days of the show. Our analysis of post-show market research, visitor surveys and industry suggestions has revealed exciting ideas and innovations, which we are integrating into our strategic planning for 2013, and which will be revealed soon. We look forward with great anticipation to the next decade in this show‘s history.”
Issued by ITP Communications on behalf of Biz Events
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