Saturday show dropped in favour of new weekday timing for the Skipper Expo

Mara Media, the organiser of the Scottish Skipper Expo, has confirmed the dates for the 2024 show. In a change which it says reflects ‘overall majority’ exhibitor and visitor feedback, next year’s show will take place at the P&J Live Arena in Aberdeen on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May – meaning that the traditional Saturday day out for families and crews has been discontinued in favour of a more commercially orientated weekday timetable.

A further surprise was the announcement that the show will then move to being held bi-annually, so there will be no Scottish Skipper Expo in 2025.

Sharon Boyle, commercial fishing manager for Mara Media, said: “Moving to a Thursday and Friday will create so many benefits for our exhibitors and visitors. Firstly, with four other industry shows taking place later in May, it gives exhibitors more time to relax and prepare for their next event.

“As well as that, it opens more travel options, with more flights scheduled during the week, which will also cater for visitors planning day trips to the show from around the UK and Europe.”

This year’s Scottish Skipper Expo was busier and more animated than the somewhat subdued post-Covid return of the show in 2022 – but the exhibiting hall was not at full capacity, and visitor numbers were still significantly down on earlier years.

Mara Media says that the 2024 expo will see a new layout ‘to maximise the viewing potential of each stand’ and allow more boats to be displayed – a feature which was particularly popular this year, with three inshore vessels on show. Another addition will be a shuttle bus that will run to and from Aberdeen city centre at the beginning and end of the show on both days. The popular seafood tasters will also make a return next year.

The complimentary show reception will once again take place at the Douglas Hotel, on the Thursday evening, with Glasgow-based group Atlantic Reel lined up to entertain guests.

The Irish Skipper Expo is staying with the traditional Friday-Saturday format in 2024, taking place at the UL Sport Arena in Limerick on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 February. No change has been announced to the prospect of a 2025 event.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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