XPO acquires The New Zealand Boat Show

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MEDIA RELEASE - 7 November 2022

XPO Exhibitions is thrilled to announce they are acquiring the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show from long-time owner Auckland Water Ski Club.

The New Zealand Boat Show is steeped in history having commenced back in 1956, when it was first held as part of the 1956 Easter Show.

Brent Spillane of XPO explains “AWSC have 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 event; building on the content and visitor experience and the important commercial return for the marine and fishing industries who exhibit. We have the scale and resourcing 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 who they will cross promote and incentivise to attend.

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

“Our team are passionate and connected with the marine industry, with our head office situated in Orams Marine Village in Westhaven.”

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.

“We understand our obligation to the marine community and New Zealand in further developing the education side as well as the entertainment content.”

Importantly, XPO is warmly welcoming the continuation of Premiere Exhibitions’ Dave and Veronica Gibbs to lead the show delivery in May 2023. “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.”

“XPO will be fully supporting Premiere Exhibitions with our inhouse team, resources and event technology. That includes organising the judging and delivery of the esteemed New Zealand Boat Show Awards and Gala Dinner that will continue to run alongside the event.”

The awards recognise industry excellence across a wide range of best-in-class boat categories, as well as the Hall of Fame and lifetime contributor / industry heroes of the sector.

“We’re delighted to confirm Hutchwilco will continue as naming rights sponsor of the show, and we can confirm Surtees is well into the process of 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 truly life-changing win for one lucky visitor next May.”

The show will be back at the Auckland Showgrounds on May 18-21, 2023. 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.

“The Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show is arguably the best example of an event that is part of the cultural fabric of this great city – and the bestowment of Sir John Logan-Campbell of this site has allowed this industry and many others to innovate and prosper by showcasing at events. This event alone utilises roughly the entire 20,000sqm of space.”

“No one has worked harder than XPO to reaffirm legal protections with the landlord and to celebrate the re-opening of these gates for all events.”

It’s fair to say there’s much to look forward to for the 2023 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show.



For media enquiries please contact Rebecca Stewart rebecca@xpo.co.nz