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Toronto show reports attendance boost

The 54th annual Toronto International Boat Show, which ran Jan. 13-22, reported an overall attendance of 76,253, up 5 percent from 2011.

“The results are consistent across most product segments of the industry,” show manager Cynthia Hare said in a statement. “Exhibitor feedback was overwhelmingly positive. With strong features and special event areas and a strategic marketing emphasis on retail, exhibitors are very happy with the quality and quantity of consumers at this year’s show.”

The show featured 550 exhibitors, many of whom said they were happy with the results of the event.

“We just completed our best entire year ever, and at this year’s show we sold three times what we sold last year,” Richard Osborn, owner of Sobstad Sales and Marine/Topper Boats, said in a statement.

He attributed part of that success to the new Boat Finder Showcase feature on TorontoBoatShow.com, which allows consumers in the preshow weeks to research boats that will be available on the floor during the show.

“We’ve found that consumers are definitely more educated and did their homework before they came to the show,” added Rhonda Brown, owner of Kawartha Boat Depot. “They know what they want, so it makes the sales process more efficient. This is definitely one of the best shows we’ve ever had.”

Dates for the 2013 Toronto show are Jan. 12-20.

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