London Boat Show opens

The Collins Stewart London Boat Show opens at London Excel today, with event design by Johnstone Events.

Dellar Davies, formerly Origin ID, has also worked on the designs for the main stage.

The show will feature around 650 exhibitors, more than 1000 boats and big name boating brands including Sunseeker, Oyster, Princess and Sealine.

This year sees the show set up in an amphitheatre style, with the big stands and larger boats on the outside and the smaller stands in the middle.

Andy Johnstone, managing director of the Dover-based consultancy, explains that Johnstone Events has worked on the show’s design for four years prior to 2008. The group was reappointed in August 2007.

This time round, the groups has worked on the classic boats area, the start boating section, the water sports area and the main stage, as well as regular features ‘deck games’ and ‘anchor watch’.

Johnstone says, ‘For the main stage we worked in conjunction with a theatre company and we were able to simulate kite surfing in the water sports section with simulators that lift the instructor up 3m into the air.’

Commenting on the design of the 2008 show, Andrew Williams, managing director for The National Boat Shows, thinks that in terms of the layout’s design this is the most impressive to date.

‘We’ve certainly learnt a lot of lessons over the years and one of the things we do is ask for visitor and exhibitor feedback so we can continue to develop,’ he says.

The main stage, which acts as the main focal point, is a new development in reaction to the public suggesting a central area would improve the show.

Visitors will be able to explore the HMS Exeter, a Royal Navy Type 42 destroyer and learn about the restoration of the Cutty Sark.

This is the show’s 54th year, and the fifth year that it will be held at Excel.

The show runs from 11-20 January and tickets cost £17.50 for preview day and £12.50 on normal days (12-20 January). For more information, visit

Start the discussionStart the discussion
  • Post a comment

Latest articles