The Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show

10+ year partnership

If you own a boat, chances are you’ve been to (or at least heard of) the Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show.

It’s been around since the late 1950s, and although it’s been through a few changes over the last 60 years, it never fails to showcase the latest and very best of what the boating world has to offer. Today, it is New Zealand’s biggest and most popular boat show and is recognised by many as the best in Australasia.

Pulling off an event of this magnitude takes meticulous planning and expert understanding of logistics. It also requires a team of people who work seamlessly together like a well-oiled machine – the success of this multi-million dollar business depends on it.

We’ve been lucky enough to work with the Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show team since 2009, and recently we spoke to their organiser, Dave Gibbs of Premiere Exhibitions, about his experience working with the Rapt! team.

Chance introduction leads to 10+ year partnership

Dave has been spearheading the boat show for the last 21 years, backed by “a really fantastic team that we’ve kept pretty much the same.” But when the small graphic design company they’d been engaging with couldn’t renew its contract, Dave went hunting for someone to fill its shoes.

“We fell on a lucky dime,” Dave says. “Through another colleague, we were introduced to Blair and his team at Rapt! (formerly MacWork) – and we haven’t looked back.”

Rapt! handles the design of all marketing collateral including signage, print event tickets and exhibitor passes, and manages the upkeep of their website.

“I rely on them to get things right, and they always do. A couple of years ago we transitioned to online ticketing, and they were there, ready and waiting with a solution.”

Bigger and better every year

In the past 10 years, the show has almost doubled in size, and the number of exhibitors has increased by 20%. Some of that can be attributed to “Blair and his team’s polish and professionalism.”

“The acknowledgement that we get from our exhibitors and the general public coming to the show is tremendous.”

Simple briefs, quality executions

Dave loves that we’ve become honorary members of his wider team, and the fact that he’s able to brief us “usually over lunch.”

“They understand our business so well, and that’s the difference between them and other people we’ve looked at in the past. We can send them a couple of sketches or a simple brief, and they’ll come back to us with a range of concepts.”

For an event that is planned well over a year in advance, that level of service is not only cost-effective – it’s critical to success.

“Because they’re an extension of our office, they anticipate what our requirements might be, well before we’ve got to that part of the timeline. That puts us far ahead of the ball which is always a good place to be.”

“We couldn’t ask for better people”

While the quality of work and a prompt turnaround are always top of the priority list, you want to work with good people too. That’s made for an enduring relationship that continues to go from strength to strength every year.

“I would not try to put this show on without them. Blair is very creative and professional, but also easy-going, and with Claudine and Julie, they make a fantastic team.

“My concern now is, if more people hear about how good Blair is, he might become so popular that he won’t answer my call when I ring him,” Dave laughs.

Smooth sailing for Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show

• A decade of growth: event 2x bigger with 20% more exhibitors

• Understands business, then consistently delivers goal-aligned outcomes

• Streamlined briefing and timely execution

• Good people – who will always return your call!