Interview with Fernando Jiménez from the Valencia Boat Show

Last Update: November 3rd, 2017

In his second year as head of the Unión de Empresas Náuticas (UEN), the association responsible for organising the Valencia Boat Show, the director Fernando Jiménez of the event announces new features:

  • more exhibition space
  • new companies
  • additional activities

In 2016, the Unión de Empresas Náuticas gave a strategic turn to the Valencia Boat Show: new dates in the autumn, a new concept – only new boats and innovative developments of the year – and a new location in Valencia Marina.


This year, the Valencia Boat Show is moving onwards and upwards, adding more square metres of covered exhibition area, an increased offer of products from all marine sectors and additional activities.

Fair date: 1st – 5th of NOVEMBER 2017

Here we go with the Q/A: 

What has been the response of brands and exhibitors this year?
We are delighted to say that in July we already covered 50% of the exhibition space. Many of the boatyards and brands that were present last year will repeat this year, but there are also many new ones that will participate for the first time in 2017 and that have already confirmed their presence months ago. I think we have a very attractive offer both in terms of dates, since we closed the circuit of boat shows in the Mediterranean, and of the rates of the boat show itself and of the city in accommodation and catering. The possibility to test the exhibition boats at sea and the good communications have been two great incentives for many exhibitors.

What can the exhibitors of the Valencia Boat Show expect this year?
Last year the show was a success both in terms of the public and of sales, with over four million euros return on sales of boats between 5 and 18 metres in length. This year we have more space to exhibit, and we want to open the event to all sectors of water sports such as surfing, paddle surfing, kayaking or diving, which are activities more accessible to all and that are an entry point into sailing. So, we will once again have a large fleet of new sailing and motor boats from the main boatyards and brands, along with engines, services and accessories, which will be joined by the exhibition of outdoor water sports, with a body of water to test the material.

Will there be sea trials this year too?
Last year the sea trials were one of the big new features. Valencia and Valencia Marina have ideal conditions to test the new boats comfortably at sea, and even for the exhibition boats to winterise here. This possibility, together with the attractive offer of the boat show and of the city, we believe was key to last year’s success.

What kind of visitors did the Valencia Boat Show 2016 have?
Last year the feeling of the exhibitors was that the majority of the visitors to the show were nautical users, knowledgeable of the products and the nautical terminology and interested in the purchase of boats. We had 60% of local visitors, 35% of national visitors and 5% of international visitors and, due to the economic result of the event, we are confirmed as a boat show for decision and purchase.

What did the 2016 exhibitors think of the change of format after the end of the boat show?
Last year many exhibitors made a strong commitment to us, since the boat show had new dates, a new concept, a new location and even a new director. The competitive offer of the event and of the city, the weather, the good communications and the possibility of sea trials undoubtedly contributed to many of the major boatyards deciding to come to Valencia. At the end of the boat show we did a survey amongst the exhibitors, and 78% rated the change of model (only new boats and new autumn dates) as good or very good and gave a score of 8.1 out of 10 to the new location.

This year there will also be activities and workshops related to sailing…
Last year the Valencia Boat Show hosted presentations, talks and meetings related to the sector. Somehow our boat show was an epicentre of the nautical world in all its aspects: business, sports, and even solidarity actions. This year we want to be there again and that the brands and boatyards take advantage of the event and the facilities for their meetings and presentations. We will have an exhibitor evening, which will be a meeting point between companies that are sure to generate interesting ideas and agreements. In addition, we have the sponsorship of Bauhaus that will organise workshops for nautical users in the former Alinghi base, and soon we will announce further new features. In fact, it will be precisely in the former Alinghi base that parallel events and activities will be held and we want it to become a meeting point for the sector.

How is the Valencia Boat Show integrated into the new Valencia Marina?
Valencia Marina is growing day by day in occupancy, sociocultural activities and innovation and is experiencing a boom period thanks to companies and institutions such as Insomnia, EDEM, Heineken, La Sucursal Group and perhaps, in the future, Microsoft. I think that the Valencia Boat Show works perfectly as a link between all these arenas: business, companies, innovation, tourism, services and of course, with sailing as a common thread, because after all we are in a marina.

What does the Boat Show mean for Valencia in terms or tourism?
The gulf of Valencia is an excellent place to sail and practice water sports and I think events like the Valencia Boat Show help to promote the city and its Marina as an ideal destination for water sports. With the cultural and gastronomic heritage, the good communications and the affordable prices in accommodation and catering added to this, the result is a practically perfect offer.

Do you expect to repeat last year’s success?
I believe that last year was a litmus test that we passed successfully, and this year we have established ourselves and we are in full growth. I like to use for this a nautical simile, which is “we are sailing at cruising speed”. As our slogan says, Valencia is sailing.

Valencia Boat Show
The Union of Nautical Companies (UNE), an association of companies in the nautical sector of the Valencian Community, has been organizing the Valencia Boat Show since 2009, making it a show organized by and for the nautical industry.
Location: • Spain Valencia, Website: valenciaboat.com
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Norberto Moreau is co-founder of the Allied Management Ltd Consulting Group (Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Spain). The group and his associates have activities in Yachting, Properties, Events and Online Services.
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