The water sports industry is booming, even in the second year of the coronavirus pandemic. That was the general consensus of those attending the 60th Interboot, which ended on Sunday, September 26, after nine eventful days. “The demand for boats and boards continues unabated, which was clearly reflected in the interest and purchasing behavior of our visitors,” reports the fair’s Managing Director Klaus Wellmann, who is pleased with the strong attendance of 45,600 water sports fans (2020: 29,300). He also adds that “The Interboot experienced a 40 percent increase over last year in terms of both boats and exhibitors. We’re even able to announce a disproportionate increase in visitors.” Some 280 exhibitors from 13 countries presented sailing boats, motor yachts, board sports, accessories, and clothing in six exhibition halls, the foyers, and the outdoor area.
“The number of visitors exceeded our expectations. This positive feedback as well as the high readiness to make purchases on the part of the visitors shows that face-to-face contact with the water sports family on site is irreplaceable. The products need to be seen, discussed, and touched in real life,” Project Manager Dirk Kreidenweiss says, summing up the experience. “We have demonstrated the reliability of the event despite the coronavirus: for the second time during the pandemic, the Interboot was able to take place as the world’s first indoor water sports trade show.” From stand-up paddle board to sailing dinghy, from inflatable boat to motor yacht: while adhering to Messe Friedrichshafen’s proven Protection & Hygiene Concept, water sports fans took advantage of the 60th edition to find out about new products and the latest trends as well as to shop.
The exhibitors were also satisfied: Meinrad Hiller, Managing Director of Pfeiffer Marine, has this to say in praise of the event: “I’d like to extend a big complement to the fair management. Everything is very well organized, starting with where you enter the fairgrounds by car. We didn’t expect so many visitors, and the event more than met our expectations. It was an outstanding trade show, and we look forward to 2022!” Karsten Baas, General Manager of Hanse (Germany) Vertriebs GmbH & Co. KG, says: “Things were slower during the week than on the weekends. However, our expectations were met overall, and we were able to make many new contacts. In some cases, the visitors just came to look, but they were often there with the intention to make a purchase. Overall, it was a good mix.” Yanick Nürnberger, Sales & Dealer Network of Europe Marine Grosshandels GmbH, reports: “The Interboot continues to be a very successful event for us – we have been a part of it since the early 90s. That’s why we fully intend to keep up the tradition and would like to return in the years to come. What we observed in the coronavirus era is that the purchase price is no longer the decision-making basis for customers. Now it’s all about prompt delivery of the boat. Demand is currently enormous, so whether the boat is actually available is what makes it attractive to customers. The market in the recreational segment has experienced a tremendous boom, and only providers who practice careful procurement – like we do – can be successful.”
The trailer training in the outdoor area was well received and fully booked, offering the opportunity to practice maneuvering with trailers under professional guidance. A visual highlight was the screening of the International Ocean Film Tour on Friday, September 24, which featured the best of four films on Hawaiian surfing action and spellbinding sailing competitions. Travel enthusiasts were able to obtain expert information from on-site resources such as the Sailing & Travel Competence Center, the Charter and Cruise Advice Booth, and a variety of seminars sponsored by the Interboot Academy. Top-notch regatta sports could be watched from the Friedrichshafen waterfront promenade: On September 18 and 19, the Württembergische Yacht-Club hosted the Interboot Trophy for the 17th time, where J/70-class boats participated in sailing competitions for the third time.
The 61st Interboot, which is to be held from September 17 to 25, 2022, again promises water sport adventures for all. Further information is available on the Internet at www.interboot.de, www.facebook.de/interboot, www.instagram.com/interboot.friedrichshafen, and #interboot.