UK boat shows cancelled at 11th hour
During a season of event cancellations, the 11th hour news that two boat shows scheduled to take place in Southampton in early September could not go ahead arguably proved the most frustrating for exhibitors and organisers.
BOATS2020 and the more sail-based show at MDL’S Ocean Village marina in Southampton were designed as smaller exhibitions and substitutes for the previously cancelled Southampton International Boat Show. However, the announcement that both shows also had to cancel came only the evening before they were due to open, when exhibitors had stands and staff in place. Southampton City Council enforced the cancellations due to UK Government fears about the increased spread of COVID-19.
“I’m disappointed and surprised on behalf of our [BOATS2020] exhibitors and show stakeholders, especially receiving the news so close to the opening,” says Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine. “This not-for-profit show was all about supporting the marine industry and the city of Southampton.”
All international shows have been cancelled so far with the exception of Genoa which, as we went to press, was still scheduled for early October. See Matt Sheahan’s column on page 20 on how the marine industry is reacting to the lack of boat show opportunities.