Strictly Sail Boat Show Updates
Encouraging reports from Strictly Sail Chicago and Strictly Sail Miami.
There was good news to report coming out of two of the major sailboat shows this winter. While overall attendance figures were down, the quality and caliber of attendees and leads were up.
Strictly Sail Chicago, held January 29 – February 9, 2009 at Navy Pier in Chicago, saw nearly 20,000 attendees pass through the gates, down only two percent from the previous year’s show.
Strictly Sail Miami, held February 11 – 15, 2009 at the Miamarina at Bayside, was down 13 percent from 2008, compared to the powerboat show which was down 26 percent.
Despite the decline in attendance at both major events, exhibitors reported a high quality gathering of buyers, coupled with positive activity in both sales and leads.
Strictly Sail Show Manager Kevin Murphy noted in both instances that the shows “exceeded expectations” and “exhibitors left optimistic.”
Said Catalina dealer John Kukuk of NestEgg Marine about Chicago, “This is the best show we’ve seen in three years. We’re seeing more quality buyers than we ever would have expected this year.”
West Marine’s Nancy Esquilin also noted “a significant increase in sales” compared to the previous year and reported, “The mood and optimism among visitors was fantastic.”
Hunter Market Development Manager Ted Norris echoed similar sentiments post Miami. “Overall business at the show was pretty good, and traffic was great. We sold five boats and have four more in the works.”
Prent Weathers with Morris Yachts was equally enthusiastic. “Miami had a great crowd and great interest from attendees. Our goals and expectations for the show have definitely been met.”
Strictly Sail Chicago and Strictly Sail Miami are both endorsed by Sail America and produced by the NMMA, the world’s largest producer of boat shows.