The Skipper Expo Int. Galway 2016 held in the city earlier this month has been hailed a great success with a record number of exhibitors and visitors.Sponsored by BIM, crowds thronged the show over the two days, attracted by a diverse range of stands covering virtually every area of the fishing industry equipment and supply sectors.
Popular attractions included the Outside Boatmart, which featured a display of vessels and marine engines, as well as the Coastguard Unit and BIM Coastal Training Unit. Another star attraction was the pool demonstrations – a unique element of the Galway expo. Led by the RNLI with assistance from BIM, various floatation devices from exhibiting companies were demonstrated in the pool.
Tara McCarthy, CEO of BIM, said: “We at BIM were proud to sponsor the Skipper Expo Int. Galway again this year. The show was extremely busy and this is testament to the excellent organisation and promotion of the event by the Skipper expo team. My first impression was the energy, interest and passion from visiting fishermen and exhibitors alike.
“A key focus for BIM was the continued promotion of the ‘Live to Tell the Tale’ safety campaign and the clear public engagement and support for the campaign at our stands, Coastal Training Unit and at the safety demonstrations in the pool was very encouraging.
Many companies reported brisk business at the expo, including Solent Engineering, who received an order for the fitting-out of a fishing vessel.
Lucy Middleton of Solent Engineering said: “It was a brilliant show where we did a lot of good business. We now go to all the Skipper Expo Int. expos in Galway, Aberdeen and Bournemouth because of the strong interest we always receive.”
Hugh Bonner, managing director of show organiser, Mara Media, said: “It was a brilliant show and exhibitors were reporting good levels of business throughout. There does appear to be a degree of renewed optimism in the industry, and I think operating factors such as lower fuel prices has helped to increase the purchasing power of skippers, which in turn is helping suppliers.