I have been to Ribex for the last few years, Southampton and then Cowes) - being an local. One of the pleasures of a boat show isn't necessarily looking at Ribs which are out of my price reach but looking at the exhibitors selling chandlery, bits and pieces etc. I purchased my Orca cover there a couple of years ago. The problem is that last year there was almost nothing to see.....I think I was in the land area for 10 minutes and that was two laps of what seemed to be a lot smaller area and frankly once a tour of the pontoons is finished, to quote Private Eye "err, that's it" Where are the smaller companies who were there in previous years - there's clearly an issue when they don't appears for such a specialised show
The exhibitors looked bored and unapproachable (even if they weren't), the cost was excessive for the time spent and a number of my friends were very disappointed even driving from locations on the Island. Also re-admission is only an incentive if it's worth going back to see the exhibition - which sadly it wasn't.
Then there was the famous fuel can incident from 2009 Ribex - exhibitor had been to the Caravan show and priced jerry cans at £19.99, leaving the price on them whilst transporting to Ribex - I rock up, think 'good price' only to be told - price had gone up to £29.99 for the show....result - no sale and local chandlery had the business instead.
I do actually think it could be a great event but it sure isn't a music festival and I am aware that last year there were tickets being given away to encourage attendees for the evening as this was reported to me by several Cowes dwellers.
Just a thought but perhaps it is the wrong location with the wrong emphasis now and speaking recently to one exhibitor of several years standing they expressed very strong views as to how good the Sports Boat exhivition at Ocean Village was and how much cheaper to exhibit (which reflects earlier posts here)
I would be sad to see it leave Cowes but right now Ribex seems to have lost it's way (in my humble punters opinion)
Crockett & Tubbs - role models for a generation.....