Water sports draw a crowd
49,800 water sports fans in attendance – Exhibitors report great interest and good sales
After a nine-day voyage, the Interboot came back to dock with good numbers to report: 348 exhibitors and participating companies attracted about 49,800 water sports fans (45,600 in 2021) from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “Despite numerous challenges such as the ongoing energy crisis, we’re pleased to announce an increase in the numbers of exhibitors and visitors. That means the Interboot has successfully consolidated its position as Germany's second-largest water sports trade fair. By continuing to hold the event even through the last couple of years, we’ve shown that we can be depended on. The Interboot held a steady course throughout the pandemic, and now we’re starting to mobilize more visitors and purchasing power in the region again,” explained Messe CEO Klaus Wellmann. With a broad range of boats, boards, clothing and accessories, the international water sports exhibition had something for everyone – from total beginners to seasoned professionals. An eclectic program of supporting events in the exhibition halls and at both the fairground lake and Lake Constance provided everything from exciting thrills to expert knowledge, and it was very well received.
From SUP boards to skiffs, from jet skis and rubber boats for beginners to cabin cruisers over eight meters for seasoned hands, the Interboot had just the right vehicle for any age and any wallet. “For us the important thing is to appeal to experienced water sports enthusiasts as much as to beginners and families – to make water sports accessible to everyone. After the pandemic restrictions of the last two years, we really wanted to revive the hands-on activities and the program of shows at the fairground lake and have more boats available for tryouts at the Interboot harbor. The great majority of our exhibitors was well satisfied with how the exhibition went, telling us of promising talks with a knowledgeable public and good, even outstanding sales,” summarized project lead Felix Klarmann, who, together with his team, made his first year at the helm of the Interboot a success.
Michael Menken, CEO of Bootscenter Menken, also looked back on the Interboot with satisfaction. “The exhibition went well for us. The visiting public this year was very well informed and interested in buying. Many of them took advantage of the tryout opportunities at the harbor with enthusiasm. The combination of exhibition halls and the Interboot harbor makes this exhibition one-of-a-kind for us in the German-speaking region. In the future, we hope to expand our presence at the harbor and have a wider range of boats available there.”
Dennis Pfister of Boote Pfister targets not only yacht-owners but beginners, as well. He remarked, “We had more visitors at our booth on the first weekend than ever before. Overall the purchasing behavior this year was somewhat restrained, though. We registered a strong influx of newcomers interested in used boats, small recreational craft up to six meters, and jet skis, and we were able to generate a lot of interest in water sports among prospective future customers. Trade fairs will remain hugely important, since newcomers in particular go to water sports exhibitions because they aren’t yet familiar with the manufacturers and dealers.”
The Interboot is indispensable for our Swiss exhibitors, too. As Vinzenz Batt, chairperson of the Swiss boat-builders’ association SBV, summed it up, “The Interboot went better than it did the last two years in terms of the number of exhibitors, even if some previous exhibitors couldn’t take part because they didn’t have any boats available. We’re hoping for a further increase next year. The basic conditions here at the Interboot are excellent, with its lovely halls, the fairground lake, and Lake Constance. For many purposes – sales and networking, for example – it's our home fair, and it’s a showcase for the Swiss boat-building industry.”
Furthermore, there was a water-based synergy with the InterDive trade fair, which took place in parallel with the second weekend of the Interboot (September 22 to 25) in Hall B5, drawing numerous visitors with everything from diving equipment and accessories such as snorkels and complete diving kits to insider tips on the best diving spots.
The next Interboot from September 23 to October 1, 2023 promises more personal experiences across the entire range of water sports.