Review - Ottawa Boat and Sportsman Show 2012
Well the Ottawa Boat and Sportsman Show is over for another year. The new venue for the show this year, the Capital Exhibition Centre, I think was a big success over its previous location Lansdowne Park. While the CEC is located to the south of Ottawa beside the airport the fact that it has reasonable parking rates at $7.00 is a big plus in addition to not having to fight the Glebe traffic.
The CEC is a large centre which has a better layout to accommodate the big boats as well as a large selection of smaller craft all on one level. One major flaw in an otherwise beautiful site was the lack of a proper facility for food and drinks. There was one small canteen style area with only three tables for visitors to sit. Prices for food and drinks were also high with a hot dog at $5.00 and a beer at $6.00. It would have been a better experience if there was a place to sit and have a reasonably priced drink and or food half way through the show, review some of the material handed out and then continue on with the rest of the show or return to a booth for more information.
As for the show itself there were lots of great boats to be seen, boats of almost every type and manufacturer. When I was speaking to one of the sales representatives at the show he made a very astute observation that I had not noted before. He pointed out that Ottawa’s show was more of a sales event rather than a show. People in Ottawa tend to come to buy boats and fishing accessories whereas people in Toronto and Montreal come more for the entertainment value.
A visitor to the show and to the city also made the observation that there was little available in the way of boating equipment, supplies and accessories. This may have to do with the lack of competition in Ottawa for marine supplies with only one real supplier for the whole area.
Overall I think the show was a big success and I look forward to next year to see how it grows both in popularity and in attendance.