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January 12, 2007

FEEDBACK The British Marine Federation needs National Boat Shows

Denzil Lee of Next Step Marketing comments on James Latham’s article on National Boat Shows (NBS), EVENTS:review, 4 January.

With regards to your editorial on NBS. I think the rumours are total rubbish. Without NBS, BMF [the British Marine Federation] would face financial ruin and have to lay off half of their staff.

Member subscriptions account for about 25% of revenue – the rest is NBS. If BMF sold off the shows, the exhibitors – overwhelmingly members – would face huge space rate hikes because, in realty, the space is sold at an uncommercial rate. They don't want to be beholden to outside commercial interests and they know that. It's not as if BMF is desperate for money either – they have £2 million of reserves!

I have a very clear idea of why attendances at ExCeL have slipped and I did communicate these to an ex-NBS director – he sent them in as his own! I was relaxed about that because it would look like sour grapes otherwise. As it happens they seem to have taken on board some of “his” suggestions!

Denzil Lee has been running full service marketing agency Next Step Marketing since 2000. Prior to this he was director of marketing for National Boat Shows.

Read James Latham’s NBS article at:

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