New Owners for 'Iconic' Boat Show

XPO Exhibitions are the new owners of the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show, acquiring it from long-time hosts, the Auckland Water Ski Club.

The show is steeped in history, beginning in 1956 when it was first held as part of the 1956 Easter Show.

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Brent Spillane of XPO says the AWSC has weathered a challenging period across the pandemic, actively reaching out to find a new owner for this treasured, iconic event.

“Our team are committed to developing and growing the show, building on the content and visitor experience, and the important commercial return for the marine and fishing industries. We have the scale and resources to invest in the show’s ongoing success.”

With this purchase, XPO now runs 19 of the nation’s largest sector trade shows and consumer exhibitions.

“We have many synergies that will add value to the boat show, one example being EMEX, a trade-only show with thousands of engineering business visitors and exhibitors – many with ties to the marine industry.”

Couple that with hundreds of thousands of show visitors across expos like The Food Show and BuildNZ, whom they will cross-promote and incentivise to attend.

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“With more than 500,000 active registrants and visitors to our wider show portfolio, we can grow the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show’s targeted attendance to new highs.”

While the event is a great day out for keen boaties and their families, there is a serious side with key education and information for the 35,000+ visitors around boating safety, marine bio-diversity, fishing sustainability, and so much more.

XPO welcomes the continuation of Premiere Exhibitions Dave and Veronica Gibbs to lead the show delivery next May.

New owners of the Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show, XPO, have the scale and resources to invest in the event’s ongoing success.

“Dave and Veronica and their team bring so much value and have deep relationships within the industry. Their agreeing to stay on for the 2023 show is a big win for exhibitors who trust their service standards, having successfully delivered the show on behalf of the Auckland Water Ski Club for decades.

“We’re delighted to confirm Hutchwilco will continue as naming rights sponsor of the show, and that Surtees is well into building the show’s Grand Prize boat package. The 2023 Surtees Grand Prize package will be the most highly valued in the show’s history, making it a life-changing win for one lucky visitor next May.”

Spillane is no stranger to the showgrounds as the largest events hirer of the site, having just returned from the High Court with a judgment win in hand, upholding the historic events protections on the site and quashing the attempted lease to a film studio.

As well as a fun day out for visitors with several interactive events, the show is an opportunity to display the best the marine and recreational fishing industry offers.

Purchase good news for industry

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“XPO’s purchase of the show is great news for the marine industry, our hundreds of valued exhibitors, and the tens of thousands of Kiwi boaties and fishers that look forward to the event each year,” says show general manager Dave Gibbs.

The comprehensive show attracts boat builders and keen boaties from all over New Zealand and is acknowledged as the best of its kind in Australasia and one of the best in the world.

It is also the only show to offer those who attend the chance to take home a must-be-won $300,000 Grand Prize boat package worth more than a quarter of a million dollars!

“Entry into the draw will be open to everyone who buys a ticket to the show either at the gate or in advance online, with the latter receiving an additional free bonus entry as well.”

Tickets to the 2023 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show (18-21 May 2023) will be on sale from December 1 from www.boatshow.co.nz

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