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Vene 24 Båt Boat Show: an important event for boaters and the boating industry

Vene 24 Båt Boat Show: an important event for boaters and the boating industry

The Helsinki International Boat Show, Vene 24 Båt, was held from February 9 to 18, 2024, at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre Messukeskus. This event, now in its 53rd edition, has established itself as the largest boat show in the Nordic region. The exhibition featured 400 boats, as well as a wide range of accessories and equipment for fishing and water sports. This year the exhibition had made significant investments in diverse programs and fostering a sense of community. Attendance and sales remained at the same level as last year.

"For boat companies, the show in February is a crucial kickoff for the spring season. The Finnish boating community once again demonstrated the popularity of boating in our country, despite economic uncertainty," says CEO Jarkko Pajusalo of the Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat.

At the boat show, hundreds of boats of various sizes were on display. Among these, dozens of new models were showcased for the first time. Well over half of the motorboats were Finnish brands. At the Vene 24 Båt exhibition, the top new releases were selected for the 25th consecutive year. The open boat category winner for this year is the Silver Seahawk BRX, while the excursion or commuter boat winner is the Saxdor 400 GTO/GTC, and the leisure boat of the year is the Marex 440 Gourmet Cruiser.

Nearly 400 program activities over the course of ten days

Various programs were offered at six different venues. At the Purjehdussatama (Sailors' Harbor), the audience could hear stories from the world's oceans as well as talks on sailing-related topics and environmental themes. The Baltic Sea Action Group was the partner for sustainability of the event. Baltic Sea Day was celebrated on the second Friday of the show.

The Totalveneen Messi stage featured programs highlighting boating destinations and showcasing new boat models. At the Venemestarin telakka (Boat Master's boatyard), visitors could observe work demonstrations and receive information on boat restoration. The fishing section's Alutroll-Tohatsu stage offered fishing-related programs. In the Aalto area's pool, visitors could watch various performances and competitions and participate in different activities. At the fly fishing track, visitors had the opportunity to try fly fishing under the guidance of experts, and participate in various competitions. In total, there were nearly 400 program activities listed in the program calendar.

A larger event, challenges with public transportation

At the Vene 24 Båt show, 314 companies participated on a total floor area of 20,590 m2. The number of visitors amounted to 57,142. Both the number of exhibitors and the square meters increased compared to last year - with 47 companies and 1250 square meters. However, the number of visitors decreased by 10%.

"The atmosphere at the show was positive, and I believe the visitor turnout would have been higher if it weren't for the second round of the presidential election and a four-day public transport strike that occurred during the first weekend. The offering was very good. According to a visitor survey, those who would have visited the show primarily for pastime stayed home, so the event attracted the right type of visitors," says Jussi Kivikari, business manager at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre.

The majority of visitors are boating enthusiasts, the interest in fishing is increasing

Boating is a significant part of Finnish culture, with one in five Finns owning a boat. Visitor satisfaction at the boat show increased compared to last year, with 92% being satisfied with the event this year. 82% spent over three hours at the show. Out of the respondents, 91% had visited the boat show before, while 9% were first-time visitors. Compared to 2023, the number of first-time visitors decreased by a few percentage points.

According to the visitor survey conducted at the boat show, the majority of respondents prefer motorboats (31%). Anglers constituted 22% of the visitors, while 21% were interested in smaller commuter boats. 17% of the visitors identified themselves as sailors. Compared to the survey from 2023, the number of fishing enthusiasts had increased by four percentage points. Of the respondents, 85% own a boat. Approximately half of the visitors came to the boat show to get new ideas and inspiration and to acquaint themselves with new products. One-third of the visitors came to spend time with friends.

The product categories that generated the most interest were motorboats (76%), boat equipment and accessories (60%), boat electronics and navigation (39%), and fishing (36%). Interest in fishing increased by 6% compared to the previous year. Sailboats interested 29% of the visitors. In the open comments section of the survey, there were requests for sailboats and a few boat brands that were missing from the show. Many also wished for more small and affordable boats at the show.

The boating industry companies are satisfied with the event and consider it important

Sales at the booths remained consistent with the previous year despite the challenging economic situation. Of the exhibitors who responded to the survey, 93% considered the event important, and 89% were satisfied with it. Some companies already booked booth space for the Vene 25 Båt show during this year's event. The main reasons for participating in the show were to maintain and increase brand awareness (80%), meet new customers (79%), meet existing customers (66%), and make sales at the booth (55%). The visitors represented the target groups well (84%).

The visitor survey for the Vene 24 Båt show was answered by 2098 visitors (compared to 2400 in 2023), while 57 companies responded to the exhibitor survey (compared to 79 in 2023).

Helsingin Messukeskus, on behalf of the Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat, organized Northern Europe's largest boat show. Vene 24 Båt took place from February 9 to 18, 2024, at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre. Next year, Vene 25 Båt will be held from February 7 to 16, 2025, at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre.

Images for media use are available at

Photographer: Pekka Hannila

Additional information:

Finnboat rf, Jarkko Pajusalo, CEO, tel. +358 40 673 4032,

Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre Messukeskus, Teija Armanto, Communications Manager, tel. +358 50 376 0804, #venemessut

Follow the boat show on Facebook:

and on Instagram: @venemessut

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