MARKETING: Show Essential For Boating
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE upcoming Cape Town International Boat Show, to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 24-27 September, is set to be a showcase of the very best in local boatbuilding and is an important opportunity for the sector to display its finest wares, says organiser Johnny Malherbe of Impact Expo.
“This has been a trying year for the boatbuilding sector, as it has been for a great number of other industries, with the recession having hit its stride.”
“ The export market has significantly slowed, which has critically impacted the local industry. This sector gains a substantial amount of income from international markets,” Malherbe says.
However, the dark times have not come without a silver lining. The slowing of business has forced many local companies to re-examine and refine their business models, and focus on improving efficiency and profit margins. The down-time has afforded boatbuilders the opportunity to scale down and prepare effectively for an economic upturn.
During times when funds are scarce, a boat show on the scale of the CTIBS provides a remarkable opportunity for boatbuilders to interact directly with their consumer base, without massive overhead spend.
The show offers boatbuilders a chance to distribute promotional material relatively cheaply, and personalise their communication with potential buyers. In the current state of the market, it can represent the ideal tool for brand exposure within the sector, he points out.
With recent boat shows in both Durban and Johannesburg having been deemed a great success, it appears that the consumer base is more upbeat, and far more open to leisure purchases than in recent months.
All in all, the industry does appear to be taking a turn for the better. CTBI (Cape Town Boatbuilding and Technology Initiative) recently secured the lease for the Elliot Basin, which will provide mooring and repair facilities in Cape Town harbour. Previously managed by the Royal Cape Yacht Club, it will now be managed by CTBI on behalf of the sector, and offer competitive rates and services.
The upcoming Cape Town International Boat Show will feature the best of what the local boating industry has to offer.
It looks to be bigger and better than in previous years, and offer consumers a wide range of leisure and commercial boating options, according to Malherbe.
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