The 54th Sydney International Boat Show wrapped up well!

We would like to thank all exhibitors for their support in the 2023 Show. Working together like this, helps to build an irresistible force in our goal to promote recreational boating in Australia. A special mention goes to our Show Partners: Transport for NSW, National Storage, Viridian Advisory, Suzuki Marine, Walcon Marine and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. Such support and commitment is a testament to the significance of the Show to industry, governments and the public.

The presence this year for Women in Boating was significant. Notwithstanding the Women in Boating Event as held on Thursday morning by Nicky Vaux, great work Nicky and to all attendees, we would also like to thank Nicole Douglass for managing the Discover Sailing and Paddling Stage at the Show, and her outstanding reach into the sail community; thanks Nicole!

The Sailing and Paddling Hub was an initiative of the BIA and enabled Nicole to welcome a range of sporting identities, including, Lisa Blair, Sarah Davis and Michelle Lee, along with 15 year old Addison Newland who is an impressive young sailor vying for a position in the Australian Sailing for the Team for Paris 2024 Olympics. I would like to thank all those presenters on the Stage for your amazing stories and captivating the viewing public during the Show.

Total attendees for 2023 was 46,919 which was up on last year. We also had a total of over 200 exhibitors, over 640 boats at the Show overall, including 220 vessels on the marina and over 420 boats in the halls. Exhibitors generally reported solid sales and strong leads.

At our Show Breakfast on Friday morning, the Minister for Transport Jo Haylen officially opening the event and recognised recipients of the Maritime Medal. BIA announced the BIA Apprentice of the Year Award to Beau Deathridge of Douglas Marine and the inaugural BIA Boating Industry Sustainability Award to GoBoat.

In a special announcement, the BIA recognised the outstanding contribution made to the industry by former President of the association Darren Vaux, who received a thoroughly well-deserved Life Membership to the BIA.

After the Official Opening event, the BIA held a private briefing to Ministers and Members of the NSW Parliament. This was a unique opportunity to champion industry strategic priorities to key decision makers in the State Government. BIA was also able to walk the show with Minister for Transport Jo Haylen, and Minister for Police Yasmin Catley, with several other NSW State MP’s, introducing them to exhibitors and discussing the significance and needs of our industry, from infrastructure to jobs.

As we have now concluded the 2023 Sydney International Boat Show, we encourage all participating exhibitors to complete the Show Survey as launched this week, all feedback is welcome. We shall be reaching out across the next several days, to discuss outcomes of the Show, and to understand your needs for 2024.

We have also commissioned an economic impact study on the Show, and the benefits that the event, and its visiting public, bring to the City of Sydney and to NSW. BIA will use this report to directly engage with State and Federal Governments on the importance and value, especially in terms of the economic and social benefits, that the event generates. We shall keep you all informed of the outcomes.

The Sydney International Boat is recognised internationally as a global event and we believe it is on a growth trajectory following several years of pandemic shutdowns. However, with the 2023 Show complete we are now already back into the business of supporting industry across our key priorities in growing boating, advocacy to government and delivering services and programs for our members such as safe marine business, and skills and jobs.

Andrew Scott