Lack of Support Cancels Venerable U.K. Show
The 50-plus year-old Boat and Caravan Show, slated for Feb. 21-26 at the NEC in Birmingham, England, has been canceled by organizers who cited a lack of support from caravan manufacturers and dealers.
Out & About reported that host Ocean Media has also been forced to cancel the Outdoor Leisure Show, which made its debut earlier this year alongside the established Boat and Caravan brand.
The sudden move follows a year in which the National Caravan Council launched its own events, beginning with last month’s Motorhome and Caravan Show in Birmingham.
Following a failure to secure the Boat and Caravan tenancy at the NEC next year, NCC Events then scheduled a new February show in London for 2012 – an event which ultimately contributed to the end of Boat and Caravan.
In a statement, Ocean Media explained the decision to cancel the show “has been taken because of a lack of support from the caravan manufacturers and their dealers, despite having strong support from all other parts of the show.”
The exhibition organizers described having “consulted in particular [with] caravan dealers” to establish that a national show was needed to support the leisure sector.” In the run up to next February, Ocean had received endorsement from the Camping and Caravanning Club and a number of caravan dealers.
The dealers eventually felt unable to participate in the show, which Ocean believes “undermined one of the main pillars of the show” and “rendered it no longer viable”.
With a heritage stretching back over half a century, Boat and Caravan could safely lay claim to being the longest running caravan show in the U.K. Having attracted over 87,000 paying visitors to a successful show last February, the cancellation now leaves NCC Events’ February show at London Excel as the only major caravan event for that month.
Ocean Media CEO Trevor Barratt expressed regret at the loss of the show, stating, “Loyal exhibitors, including a number of caravan dealers and the shows many visitors will feel sorry that due to a lack of support from one element of the industry, the 2012 show has canceled after more than 50 years.”