Making waves at the ExCel.


London Boat Show is part of the British Marine Boat Show portfolio of world-class events. Held in January at the ExCel London, the show features hundreds of exhibitors, showcasing the latest boats and products plus interactive attractions, creating an experience fit for sailing enthusiasts and newcomers alike. 

For the 2018 show, the client wanted to increase the number of attendees particularly those with an aspirational mindset. Following a successful pitch, Big Cat were initially tasked with developing the existing London Boat Show identity and messaging.

Turning instinct into action

After in-depth marketplace and audience research was undertaken, we identified ‘immersive innovation’ as a priority factor for appealing to the target audience. To capture this in the new identity, the logo mark was updated to a more contemporary design, using subtle nautical iconography, whilst avoiding overt stereotypes and maintaining a stylish look and feel.

The identity was supported by aspirational imagery that reflected the newer, younger demographic of the show, and the introduction of the hashtag #makingwaves, which aligned all touch points to the new positioning.

To mark the inaugural position of London Boat Show in the boating calendar and its showcase of high-end, new products, the headline “The First. The Exclusive. The Unmissable.” was introduced. As was a sub-brand for the newly launched Boating and Watersports Holiday Show.

With a diverse range of audience groups (including trade) to appeal to, across a variety of media, guidance was required to direct communications and ensure consistency. A messaging matrix was produced to aid the in-house team and Big Cat, detailing key attributes of the event plus primary, secondary and tertiary messaging for each audience and channel.

The campaign was rolled out across the London underground, press and digital display sites. Ticketing and visitor packs were designed alongside sponsorship and sales brochures. At the venue, show collateral and signage was produced and the campaign messaging ran on screens.

In the initial stages of the event marketing, we supported the British Marine in-house communications team with content planning, implementation and management of social media platforms. A series of ‘teaser’ videos was also produced, which was seeded across Facebook and Twitter to provide more engaging content, whilst announcing the new show.

Finally, Big Cat worked in collaboration with British Marine’s digital team and third party website development company, to update the existing London Boat Show website and also create a new site, dedicated to the Boating and Watersports Holiday Show. We were responsible for the production of sitemaps, wireframe development, design, copywriting, UX, conversion funnels and target keywords.

"The 2018 London Boat Show has provided an essential platform to showcase the very best of the marine industry to a global audience. We’re delighted that the changes we have implemented have been such a success. With an average daily attendance of just over 10,000 we’ve enjoyed more concentrated crowds of visitors at the Show than we’ve experienced for many years, particularly on the very busy Saturday."

Howard Pridding, British Marine CEO


52k Visitors

Significant average daily increase on previous attendance

347 Exhibitors
94 New Products

Launched to the market

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