The Sydney International Boat Show is now seven weeks away and I can feel the excitement of the team and our members building.  

We have the venues locked in, the exhibitors are likely to exceed last year’s excellent turnout of almost 200 businesses, the program is nearly full of events and activations, and we are expecting more than 50,000 people to attend.  

BIA ran the inaugural, stand-alone Sydney Boat Show in 1967. Fifty-five editions later, and only cancelled due to a global pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the event is now regarded by the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers (IFBSO) as one of a limited number of its recognised boat shows. 

IFBSO has more than 30 members representing the standout boat shows on the world stage. Their mission is to share and exchange ideas and developments to help mount cost-effective, quality exhibitions for the recreational marine industry around the world. This is exactly the reason I was recently delighted to accept an invitation, on behalf of the BIA Ltd, to join the Board and also become their new Treasurer.  

The Sydney International Boat Show is a proven performer and last year delivered a $345M impact on the economy and created 980 jobs. It also attracted almost 47,000 people and delivered not only this significant economic result but also proved a success in social benefit.  

The overwhelming majority of attendees told us the show helps to promote a healthy lifestyle through boating and participation in boating to people of all ages, genders, abilities, and budgets.  

Our plan is to continue to grow the show year-on-year in Sydney and that means more exhibits, more boats, more engagement with stakeholders through forums and more public attendance.  

Show events and activities will include the official opening, specialty areas for fishing, sailing, paddling, sustainability, workplace diversity, marine careers along with government forums and workshops to explore issues like vessel standards and more. We are also bringing back the BIA Exhibitor Hospitality evening on the Friday night which will include the Show Display Awards ceremony. The criteria for these show awards will be released in the next eNews on 26 June.


The Discover Sailing and Paddling hub and Boating Safety Zone will be back, and we are building upon the on-water activities and demonstrations to include free boating experiences for the public on Cockle Bay.  

To help build the excitement, generate public interest and promote attendance, we have refined and improved the show marketing and communications plans.  

We have already launched the pre-sale ticket initiative on 31 May, on 4 June we opened the early bird ticket prize of $10,000 to be spent with an exhibitor at the show.

Our paid marketing and advertising plan is underway in commercial tv and digital display, Google search and social media. Much more is to come.   

To provide exhibitors and members with a comprehensive understanding of the entire program of planned show events, activations, government engagement sessions, promotions, as well as the full marketing and media plans for the show we are planning several sessions.  

The first will be a Sydney International Boat Show webinar on 27 June to run through the entire event program and marketing plan, and to provide all members with the opportunity to ask questions. I also plan to hold an in-person briefing for members at Coomera and in Sydney in early July to cover both the mid-year report on the BIA Ltd as well as a briefing on plans for the Sydney International Boat Show. You will be receiving invitations to these events soon.  

The webinar will enable access by all members and exhibitors from anywhere in Australia, while the in-person sessions will allow us to catch up directly with our valued membership; both will provide room for Q&A.

See you on the water.

Andrew Scott, CEO