September 30, 2018 | The 57th edition of Interboot featured shimmering waters, gleaming boats and plenty of action. For nine days, the exhibition grounds in Friedrichshafen welcomed 86,500 water-sports fans (2017: 86,400) from across Germany, Austria and Switzerland, who were inspired by the latest trends presented by 474 exhibitors and persuaded to buy more than a few treasures. “As Germany’s second-biggest water-sports trade fair, Interboot has once again proven the popularity of hobbies in the water. More than 86,000 visitors at the exhibition grounds and tens of thousands at the Interboot Marina enjoyed plenty of water-sports excitement over the past few days,” said Messe Friedrichshafen CEO Klaus Wellmann. A major attraction was the tryout zone in Hall B1, featuring a new SUP test pool for stand-up paddleboarding and a standing wave for surfing practice. Down on Lake Constance, visitors were treated to a fast and furious motosurfing demonstration race. There was also a late-summer feeling on the Trade Fair Lake, which featured wakeboarding and introductory sailing lessons under beautiful skies.
Interboot presented a wide range of boats, accessories and apparel in eight exhibition halls. “The mood among the exhibitors was generally quite good. The motorboat exhibitors were particularly successful in closing a great many deals and further expect a lot of follow-up business,” said show director Dirk Kreidenweiss. “For years, this mix of product displays, water-sports events and tryout opportunities has proven very popular with both visitors and exhibitors.” The new Interboot Prize Contest was also well received, with eight dream vacations taking winning contestants to fabulous water-sports hotspots.
Exhibitor feedback was also very positive. “We invested a lot in this exhibition and presented 24 boats at Interboot, because the southern German water-sports market is very important to us and we can reach a lot of customers here. Our sales target for the trade fair had already been met by Saturday,” said Peter Nürnberger, managing director at Europe Marine. The nine days of Interboot were a success in the Swiss Hall too, as attested by Urs Hausammann, manager at Hausammann Caravans + Boote AG: “The visitors showed a lot of interest. This led to many productive discussions. Every year, Interboot provides a great platform for making new contacts. Although the weekdays saw a bit less traffic, those discussions were actually more in depth. We’re largely happy with how the trade fair went, especially since we’re expecting to conclude further deals after Interboot. So our expectations are being fulfilled.” It was similar with Horst von Hörsten, manager at Hallberg-Rassy Deutschland GmbH: “For us, Interboot went as we’d hoped and expected. Especially on the weekends, we were able to welcome many new contacts as well as existing customers at our stand. As a water-sports show for the Germany-Austria-Switzerland region, Interboot is very important to us, and we’ll be on board again next year too.”
Sun, boats and Lake Constance – the Interboot Marina, with around a hundred vessels, was a major attraction on Friedrichshafen’s lakefront promenade. Acting also as a starting point for regattas and races, along with many test drives, this trade-fair venue on the shores of Lake Constance enjoyed great popularity. “A lot of potential buyers used this opportunity to take boats out for a test drive, which was often the key factor in making a purchase decision,” explained Dirk Kreidenweiss. On the second Interboot weekend, the Start Boating initiative encouraged both enthusiasts and newbies to strike out from the marina and onto the lake.
There was a new format for the 2018 SUP Team Challenge, held at the test pool in Hall B1: besides achieving the best time, it was also primarily about skillfulness. There were ten doubles teams competing in three rounds. It was Alexander Stertzig and Philipp Mrozik from Konstanz who paddled into victory. The winners will travel to the Caribbean in February for the British Virgin Islands SUP Challenge powered by The Moorings.
The next Interboot promises even more water-sports adventures from September 21 to 29, 2019.