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Once again this year, we had the pleasure of participating in the Budapest Boatshow 2023 – Hungary’s biggest expo for boats and the yachting industry. We exhibited alongside Jeanneau Hungary and FüredYachtCharter, with whom we share a mutual passion for sailing and water-based activities. Jeanneau Hungary, our largest boat dealer in the country, displayed 5 motorboats, while FüredYachtCharter showcased their lovely offerings at Lake Balaton ranging from maneuver trainings to chartering.

At the expo, we exhibited a brand new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410 sailboat called Maminti, which drew much attention from visitors. Thanks to the three cabins and one bathroom configuration, the interior is spacious. But it was the imposingly large front cabin that wowed visitors – it’s not often that you come across a front cabin like this in a smaller sailing boat like the 410. People were also amazed by the hidden wine cellar with compartments inclined at 45 degrees – no wine bottles will ever break there. To top it off, the cellar is located below the floor, close to the water, ensuring that the wine stays at the perfect temperature. Visitors were also impressed by the new locks on all the compartments, drawers, and cupboards. Jeanneau has ditched the old round buttons in favor of a much more intuitive solution.

This year, there were hardly any sailing boats at the expo. Approximately 90% of the exhibited boats were motorboats, and around half of those were electric. Maminti was the only cruiser that could accommodate multiple people, with a kitchen and a bathroom for extended stays. As a result, it became the star of the show, with everyone eager to check it out.

The first day of the expo was mostly B2B, but we had lots of repeat guests visit us just for the sake of our friendships. People are always happy to see us, and we were thrilled to catch up with some familiar faces. Many times it was hard to keep up with the new visitors because we got caught up in interesting conversations. The second day was the least active, but we made up for it with the VIP dinner party afterward, where we enjoyed our rolls served on literal sushi boats.

Saturday was a particularly active day, and we met many new faces, most of whom were genuinely interested in our business. We are expecting lots of new sailors to come and learn a ton, taking part in our trainings this season. It was a great opportunity for networking and building relationships with potential customers. On Sunday, we had many families with kids visit us, which was a bit less productive in terms of sales, but still great for showing off our new boat and meeting new people.

In the other building at the event, there was a caravan and e-bike expo. Although we didn’t spend much time there, we got the chance to pet some exotic animals (including roaches as big as your hand, and grasshoppers as huge as your forearms) and ride on one of the e-bikes.

Overall, it was a fantastic event, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s Budapest Boatshow. Being able to showcase our brand-new Sun Odyssey sailboat and connect with other enthusiasts in the industry was an excellent experience. And with the event featuring everything from motorboats to caravans and e-bikes, there truly was something for everyone to enjoy.

This year, for the fourteenth time, we launched the Candor fleet to round off a long season. Together, we enjoyed the late autumn sunshine, admired the towns on our way without the crowds of tourists and enjoyed the sometimes light, sometimes fresh breezes.

We set off with ten active Candor boats, and Miu Miu, one of our previous boats, joined us, now with new owners on board. The team consisted of almost eighty people, most of them old friends, but there were also a good number of new guests.

On our first night we chose the new Kastel Stari harbor, inaugurated the outer breakwater moorings, had a good dinner, and chatted into the night around the tables.

The next day we headed for Rogoznica, but in the bright sunshine we anchored in Drvenik Veli’s famous Krknjasi Bay. Most of us had a swim in the 22 degree sea. In the evening we aimed for the town harbor of Rogoznica, there were not many boats on the town’s coastline. The Yugo, which was coming to an end, was also in favor of the northern route, so we were still looking for a destination the next day.

In the morning, we managed to “launch” from the pier at the same time, which was an exciting experience for all participants, and the drone footage taken here shows how spectacular it is to see so many boats when they are really moving as a fleet. For the evening mooring we headed for the island of Prvic, a place we were not familiar with, but we noted to ourselves what a lovely little island, a lovely place.

The next day we set off early, and with the awakening mystery we set our sights on Komiza, the island of Vis. This harbor is almost unbearably crowded in summer, but now there were only a few boats on the shore.

In the morning, everyone chose the route of their choice, some went to the blue cave, some to Stiniva and Budikovac, and some visited the old town of Hvar for an ice cream. The weather was great, the winds were blowing 18-20 knots and the sailors were sailing all day! Stari Grad was our resting place for the evening, and we spent the free moorings here because the boats were tied up for the winter. We also ran into Aron Méder and his usual October course tour. In the morning we took our traditional group photo here, apologies to Áron and his family for the torch smoke 😊

Friday evening we arrived in Kastela, where we had a festive dinner at the Spinakker restaurant in the harbor. Everybody went to bed satisfied, we didn’t feel short on anything, and the next morning the team went home in good spirits. At the farewell, everyone said they would come again next time, and we are already preparing for the occasion!

This year three members of the Candor family visited the expo in Zagreb. After arriving late in the evening, we went to bed early to keep up with the pace of the presentations the next day. 

After the opening ceremony in the morning, the three halves of the team split up, each picking the presentations that suited them best. From professional humor promoter David Tarvin, we heard about humor in the workplace and all the positive effects of it. He filled the room with loud laughter numerous times, and often engaged with his audience during the speech. 

Shortly afterwards, we heard presentations on a more serious topic. Miroslav Varga’s presentation on Google Ads was surprisingly digestible, with lots of funny examples and even more useful advice. The next related presentation was the opposite of the previous one. Zorin Radovancevic (who works for the company he co-founded with Miroslav) gave a factual and data-packed talk on Google Analytics.

The lunch on the first day left nothing to be desired, we could have stayed a bit, to be honest. 

After getting a full belly, we learned new things from Hannah Goldberg about using social media. With many stories of her own and a very good presentation, Hannah ended the day with only one more panel discussion with other charter companies left.

Finally in the evening, came the much anticipated opening event. Booking Manager’s 20th birthday was celebrated in a fitting way with live music, Croatian ham and bread and an excess of good vibes. 

Meanwhile, one of our colleagues in attendance was invited by 5 performers to meet and chat over a private dinner. 

On the second day, after a hearty breakfast, Frank Honan, well known in the industry, gave a presentation on the ISO standard present at the yacht charter. From the presentation we learned that the international standard is the minimum at Candor! 

During the day we also attended a Booking Manager seminar where the features of the new edition were presented and then we had a face-to-face interview with two of their staff. Many questions and requests were discussed with the helpful MMK personnel. 

After another wonderful lunch, we learned about business communication and emotional intelligence in a wonderful and interactive presentation by Jay Johnson. 

Before the final panel discussion of the evening, we listened to Daniel Disney’s presentation on selling and presence on social media. 

This time, agencies rather than charter companies participated in the panel discussion for a more exciting hour and a half. 

Finally, we headed back home late, tired but all the more informed, leaving the cheese and wine tasting behind. 

Thank you Booking Manager, see you next year!