Pandemic-related restrictions halt industry’s flagship Show
Organizers of the Toronto International Boat Show (TIBS) have announced that the annual event, scheduled to be held in-person, has cancelled for 2022.
Preparations had already been completed for the Show, with move-in set to begin in less than 30 days. Following months of strategic preparation, North America’s Largest Indoor Boat Show was ready to unveil an all-new reimagined floorplan.
The event was set to showcase more than 300 exhibitors, plus 250 seminars & workshops inside the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place. A new initiative for the show was the launch of a 5000 square foot Boater’s Resource Centre, featuring 15 industry and government organizations. The rapidly developing Omicron variant and newly mandated capacity limitations at large events in Ontario meant that the in-person show could not move forward as planned from January 22 - 30. “The COVID Omicron variant is driving dramatic regulation changes across the Province of Ontario,” said Linda Waddell, President & Show Director of Canadian Boat Shows. “We are very disappointed to be making this announcement today, knowing we had an exceptional show planned to be ready on time following months of condensed and collaborative efforts with our partners and exhibitors.”
The swift announcement by the provincial government means that all meeting and event spaces that hold more than 1000 people will have their capacity numbers reduced to 50%, effective Saturday, December 18. “We understand that this capacity reduction will be in place indefinitely, as the province did not set an end date. In addition, following several days of receiving feedback from exhibitors and review with the Show’s Advisory Committee, it became clear this is the right decision at this time for our event, and for the safety of our exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and staff.” Last year was an unprecedented year that saw our event hold a Virtual Show for the first time in its 60+ year history.
The 2021 Virtual Show attracted more than 35,000 registrations. Consumers flooded to the 2021 Virtual Show to shop, experience and interact on a digital platform with thousands of product listings, video content, opportunities to connect directly with exhibitors, as well as live seminars and TIBS Live TV. This year’s Virtual Toronto International Boat Show will be held over five days, running January 26 - 30. Programming details will be announced soon.