by Jeni Bone
As we turn the corner in to 2012, Marine Queensland is countering the various challenges, economic and social, with a renewed focus on igniting the imaginations of the boating public and investing in new concepts and innovation.
The Manly Boat Harbour - the largest recreational marine precinct in the southern hemisphere.
According to chief executive, Don Jones tough economic times call for innovation, which is essential for 'weathering the storm'.
'These times of change are very much influencing the way consumers partake in marine based recreation,' he says. 'On top of this, the development, growth and prosperity of the industry is reliant on increasing consumer participation in marine based recreation activities. Promoting and fostering the development of the industry is one of the core charters of Marine Queensland. This has traditionally been achieved largely through the boat show in Brisbane. In 2011 the Marine Queensland Board adopted a new strategy for events as part of the broader industry promotional and development strategy.'
Elements of this strategy include:
1. Diversification of events to regional centres of the State, for example, the Mackay Marine Festival and the Sunshine Coast Marine Festival;
2. Introduction of micro events such as the boaties nights at dealerships; and
3. Creation of events that provide greater opportunities for consumer interaction with marine products and the suppliers, manufacturers and dealers.
In 2012 the Marine Queensland events calendar will undergo a major transformation.
'The traditional Brisbane Boat Show will scale down in 2012 as part of its transition to merge with the Tinnie and Tackle Show in 2013,' explains Jones. 'The 2012 show will be a strong sales event for trailer boats which represents 93% of the Queensland recreational fleet. The 2013 event will be a large scale show with distinct themes in the show directed at fishing, sports, and recreation.'
In addition to the transition for the Brisbane Boat Show a new major event will also be launched in 2012.
'This event will be a highly interactive event for consumers based at the Manly Marine precinct – the largest recreational marina precinct in the Southern hemisphere. The event will still provide sales opportunities, however core to the event will be expanding the participation levels in recreational boating. There will be many on water displays and activities that will enable the community generally and those new to marine based recreation in particular come along and try a wide range of activities, products and services.'
As Jones explains: 'All of these vents are very much now part of a broader strategy promoting the industry. Other examples and elements of the strategy include social media, television, publications and strong linkages into leisure activities such as food, music and fashion.'
Marine Queensland Boat Show Calendar 2012
1. Brisbane Tinnie and Tackle Show
23 - 25 March
RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane
2. Mackay Marine Festival
23 & 24 June
3. Brisbane Boat Show
24 - 26 August
BCEC, South Bank
4. Sunshine Coast Marine Festival
5. Consumer Interactive and Participation Event
21 - 23 September
Manly Boat Harbour
More at www.marineqld.com.au