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NEC confirms two new consumer sporting shows for February

by Joe Gallop

The NEC has confirmed a show double for sailors and golfers in February, with BoatLife Live and Bunkered Live forming part of the venue’s outdoor-focused consumer show season.

Following the “great success” of the inaugural National Snow Show in October, NEC new business director Richard Mann said he is confident the trend of visitors being keen to attend sport and outdoor focused shows will continue in 2022.

Mann said: “These are two fantastic shows for the NEC to be hosting for the first time. The organisers have a huge amount of experience in their respective fields and really understand what their consumers are looking for.”

The teams across the NEC, ICC and Vox venues hosted 201 conferences, exhibitions and events in 2021 – 68 of which were exhibitions – from the reopening in July up to 2 January. The Birmingham venue hosted 685,000 people across its exhibitions last year, and it hopes to build on this in 2022.

Boatlife Live, which takes place from 17-20 February, is described as a family show for new boaters and experienced sailors with over 100 boats showcased on-site, from RIBS to powerboats to paddle boards. 

Richard Dove, director of BoatLife Events Ltd, said: “We are full steam ahead with the show’s planning, and stand booking enquiries continue to come in for our February show.

“Being a domestic show has a lot of advantages given that international travel is ever-changing.

“Our exhibitors remain confident, and with the government-backed insurance scheme, their financial investment in the stand costs are protected.”

Features at the sailing show include a live stage with a programme of speakers and boating figures. These include 14-year-old yachtswomen Katie McCabe – the youngest person to sail 14,000 miles solo around Britain in 2021.

Bunkered Live is coming to England and the NEC for the first time on 18-20 February. Visitors to the show can test equipment such as clubs and balls, for free, in the purpose-built indoor driving ranges. 

Paul Grant, managing director of the event organisers, PSP Media Group, said: “Having global brands in attendance ensures all visitors to our show will have the unique opportunity to not only chat with the brand technicians, but also test all their clubs, consult on custom fittings and take part in fun, interactive activities all under one roof.”

The other outdoor-focused consumer show to take place at the NEC in February is the Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show, from 22-27 February.

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