It’s always good when the motorcade arrives.
The inaugural Panama International Boat Show’s crowds on Sunday included Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, who recently took delivery of his 105-foot Azimut yacht and wanted to visit the show.
“He’s looking forward to retirement soon to use his boat, purchased from Evermarine Yacht Sales,” a dealer that had a display at the show, said Andrew Doole, senior vice president and COO of producer Show Management.
Soundings Trade Only and Show Management are owned by Active Interest Media.
Doole told Trade Only Today that he was pleased by the manufacturer presence and the support of local dealers displaying at the show, which ran Friday through Sunday.
“There were lots who came down and supported dealers with booths, even if they didn’t have a boat on display,” Doole told Trade Only. “A lot of builders came down and worked the show with their local representative. That was great to see.”
Exhibitors and attendees seemed pleased with the first show, Doole said.
“We had a good crowd on Saturday and Sunday,” he said. “Some boats were sold and I think a lot of contacts were made. There were manufacturers there also looking for dealers, so there was a lot of B2B activity going on, too. Everybody seemed happy when they were leaving last night.”
Visitors traveled from various regions in Panama, as well as from Colombia and Venezuela. “It created a lot of awareness around the city. And it’s always good when a motorcade arrives,” Doole said of Martinelli’s arrival, adding that Evermarine will have several leads to follow up after the president’s visit.
“Some [exhibitors] were saying it was a lot better than they had expected,” Doole said “Some were a little hesitant about coming to the first show, and they were all happy with the way the show went, looked, the quality of the crowd. There were a lot of qualified buyers in the crowd, so that’s what counts.”
Intrepid Boats sales vice president Christian Gonzales told Trade Only on Friday that the show’s organization and presentation was impressive. “Show Management seems to be doing a great job organizing this,” Gonzales said. “There are more exhibitors than I thought.”
A VIP event on Thursday night featured fireworks at Flamenco Marina, where the show was held. Sponsor Mercedes-Benz was pleased with the event and the show, Doole said.
Show Management will meet with exhibitors and Flamenco Marina owners to determine the dates of next year’s show. Already organizers say they want to open and close the show later in 2015.
“We’re just looking forward to doing a bigger and better show next year,” Doole said. “We got off to a solid start this year. I think we have a great event to build on for next year, and we will have a bigger and better event.”