boot Düsseldorf has made a brilliant start to the new decade with a hugely successful event. Visitors, including an increasing number of Irish boating fans, were enthusiastic about the wide-ranging programme and the enormous selection of products and services provided by the more than 1,900 exhibitors in the 17 halls on the exhibition site. The international water sports community was delighted by nine unique days in Düsseldorf with a mix of stimulating networking, successful business and memorable experiences.
Read reports of Irish participation at 2020 Boot in Afloat's dedicated Boot section here
Boot has an amazing appeal all over the world
Messe Düsseldorf CEO Werner M. Dornscheidt’s summary of the eventful days at boot 2020: “boot has developed into something far more than just a trade fair. It is an event with huge innovative and economic significance while representing a passion for water sports to a unique extent as well. In the past few days, the trade fair has demonstrated the amazing appeal boot has all over the world.”
Focus on alternative drive systems
More than 250.000 water sports fans (2019: 247,700) from 106 countries made their way to Düsseldorf for boot 2020. Around a quarter of these were international visitors. Their home countries were mainly the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy, France and, from overseas, the USA and Canada. “This large proportion of international visitors shows that we are very well-prepared for the future with the boot concept”, explains boot Director Petros Michelidakis, who adds: “Here in Düsseldorf – in the heart of landlocked North Rhine-Westphalia, we really have succeeded in creating the most important international platform for water sports. boot demonstrated convincingly this year just how impressive the industry’s innovative skills are. The focus was on alternative drive systems, boat construction from renewable raw materials and international ocean protection projects.”
A milestone for the water sports industry
For the water sports industry, boot Düsseldorf 2020 represents a milestone on the road to success. Jürgen Tracht, Director of the German Marine Federation: “New decisions need to be taken at the beginning of the year in both private and professional water sports fields. The wide range of different options available at boot offers not only trade representatives but also water sports fans the biggest possible choice. Nowhere else in the world exist such a large selection of sailing yachts and motorboats. There are plenty of exhibits for newcomers at boot too, with “start boating” and “start sailing”, so he concludes: “A good boot has traditionally been an auspicious omen for the subsequent water sports season.”
High satisfaction rate among visitors
boot 2020 achieved a satisfaction rate of 96 per cent among the visitors. Petros Michelidakis is pleased to report, that “the new, very clear hall layout with special walks for the different target groups was a major success. boot fans were able to plan their own individual tour of the trade fair perfectly with the ‘Power Walk’ through Halls 1 to 9 for motorboat enthusiasts, the ‘Sailors’ Walk’ in Halls 15 to 17, the ‘Holiday Walk’ in Halls 13 and 14, the ‘Divers Walk’ in Halls 11 and 12 and the ‘Surfers’ Hotspot’ in Hall 8a.
Diving Halls attracted large number of visitors
The suppliers of diving equipment, trips and destinations benefitted from the new boot layout too. The conditions in Halls 11 and 12 were excellent for diving enthusiasts. More than 400 exhibitors represented almost the entire international community. The diving pool for beginners and the diving tower for experienced divers attracted a large number of people. New trends like “mermaiding” were just as popular with visitors as the enthralling stage programme with such international stars as Pierre-Yves Cousteau and ocean activists like Emily Penn or Hannes Jaenicke.
"The best boot in years!"
For the surfing industry, boot Düsseldorf 2020 ended with overwhelming success after nine days. In the heavily attended surf sports hall 8a, 93 exhibitors from 17 countries inspired around 100,000 surf-interested visitors with useful infotainment and inspiring join-in events. Following the call of the world’s largest water sports exhibition and it’s surfing motto "Make your Move", around 4,500 newcomers and advanced surfers have been active on the spectacular THE WAVE by citywave ®, in the large flatwater pool or on the skimboard track. Both beginners and experts have experienced surfing, SUP action and SUP yoga, skimboarding and waveboarding, futuristic foiling („flying over water") disciplines and the comeback of the booming windsurfing. Thrilling international competitions with the stars of the scene and celebrated awards fascinated the audience. Florian Brunner, CEO and partner of APM Marketing and member of the boot Düsseldorf’s advisory board, emphasizes: “That was the best boot in many years! I am very optimistic about the future. The comeback of windsurfing can be seen as a trend." The verdict of windsurfing world champion Francisco Goya from Maui, Hawaii, who advertised board sports at the TPE distribution booth: “The quantity and the quality of visitors is great. They are very passionate and competent at the same time.“ Karsten Krey, Brand Manager at Liquid Force Germany, is pleased with the course of this year’s edition: "I have been at the boot Düsseldorf for 40 years and can say: There was buzzing at the fair this year! What used to be Florida for wakeboarding is now the region around Düsseldorf. For the scene, the boot Düsseldorf is winter’s highlight!"
boot 2021 is being held in Düsseldorf from 23. to 31. January. The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.