BOAT SHOW ROUND-UP
Reports from the recent St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, along with the latest updates from Strictly Sail Chicago and Strictly Sail Miami and Strictly Sail Pacific.
ST. PETERSBURG POWER & SAILBOAT SHOW RECEIVES THUMBS UP FROM KEY EXHIBITORS
“The St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, which is endorsed by Sail America and is the largest in-water boat show on Florida’s gulf coast, was held December 2 - 5, 2010.” According to show promoters and many exhibitors, the show exceeded expectations and served up a nice helping of new business.”
Skip Zimbalist III, Show Management CEO, said that total boats in the show were up over eight percent, while surviving exhibitors were “strong and focused” on product that sells.
One of the ‘survivors’ is Stanton Murray, Sail America boat show chair and owner of Murray Yacht Sales. “The St. Pete show was upbeat and exciting, with new boats of every type sold. The cool weather didn’t seem to keep the buyers away!
“In addition, it was great to have more brokerage boats on display this year, which added to the critical mass of boats at the show. Other positive results included strong attendance at Sail America’s seminar and the Discover Sailing programs,” he added.
On a personal business front, Murray also noted enthusiastically that his dealership sold its second Beneteau Sense 50 at the show.
Echoing these positive sentiments with real sales results was Ed Massey of Massey Yacht Sales.
“We sold six new Catalinas and Hunters during the boat show. Just prior to the show we had sold four new Catalinas and Hunters. That accounts for 10 new Catalinas and Hunters in about a six week period. That is a rate of sale consistent with the years just prior to the Great Recession,” said Massey.
When asked why he believes Massey is enjoying a resurgence in sales, he shared the following insight based on what he termed ‘educated assumptions.’
“During the past three years the total number of new sailing yachts being built has diminished considerably. Yachts enter the resale market in three to five years for the most part. The late model brokerage market inventory has thinned out a great deal, with even fewer late model yachts entering the resale market in the next several years. If new yacht production is down, three years later the brokerage inventory will be down. It's a supply and demand equation. Late model brokerage yacht prices are beginning to firm up or increase a bit. Most of the distress, repossessed or short sale brokerage sailing yachts are gone. Most dealers that had aged inventory at the beginning of the recession have sold that inventory. There is still a little of that inventory out there, but not much.”
Massey added that the loss of yacht dealerships post recession, field inventory depletion and dealer stocking reductions, coupled with inaccessibility to floorplan dollars, all contribute to the current market trends. In addition, Massey notes that boat builders are becoming more aggressive in their boat show purchasing incentives in order to fill orders. The combination of all these indicators, he believes, indicates a healthier future.
“Buyers always had the ability to purchase the sailing yacht they wanted, but lacked the confidence to make a move. Now that the worst of the recession is probably behind us and the fact that buyers seem to have decided to get on with life, they are more aggressive in their purchase plans.”
STRICTLY SAIL CHICAGO AND STRICTLY SAIL MIAMI ROLLING FORWARD
According to Strictly Sail Sales Manager Kevin Murphy, both the Chicago and Miami Shows are gaining momentum, with several exciting events and enhancements underway.
In the area of space sales, Murphy reports that both shows are exceeding expectations to date.
“More booths have been added to the Chicago floorplan which is creeping back to previous years’ numbers of booths, and several boat manufacturers have increased their display space to add additional boats,” he said.
“The main tent in Miami is full and we have started to fill the tent in the seminar area of the show and the sidewalk tents. We are using three of the four piers at Miamarina and based on early counts, Pier B and C and the Hard Rock dock will be nearly full.”
From a marketing standpoint, both shows are also getting a major boost with local TV advertising to complement the strong radio, newspaper, direct mail, print advertising, internet and social media campaigns. Murphy also noted that the marketing toolkit for exhibitors has been expanded and is available online for exhibitor download.
In addition, Strictly Sail Miami will also include expanded marketing including targeting of sailors in both Central and South American markets, including an invitation to international sailing clubs which is being produced in three languages.
Another update for Miami is an improved Discover Sailing Program. The show is working directly with ASA to create a more “instructional experience” for sailing wannabees.
“Rather than a sailboat ride on Biscayne Bay that we have provided in the past, attendees will sign up, both online and onsite, for actual sailing instruction. Certified instructors will spend 90 minutes with groups of between four and six people who have signed up in advance to learn more about sailing and the different techniques used to sail a boat. Instructors will teach the basics of sailing and follow through to provide information on next steps,” said Murphy.
Both shows will also feature a great mix of seminars including new topics and speakers, and several interactive hands-on seminars. Murphy said that Second Wind Sailing, Mad Mariner and Jack Klang will each offer hands-on seminars on the Chicago show floor.
In final news, Murphy reminds exhibitors that final payments were due December 15 for Chicago, and December 17 for Miami. For more information regarding invoicing, call 312.946.6237.
Strictly Sail Pacific Space Sales Off to a Strong Start
The good news keeps rolling in for Strictly Sail Pacific 2011 as booth, land and in-water space sales are all off to a strong start. Many of last year’s exhibitors have already reserved space for 2011, while several newcomers have signed up, including boat brands Antares, Sabre and RS Boats. The Special Events Committee is lining up a host of fun activities and the seminar program will deliver new speakers and topics.
Strictly Sail Pacific will be held at Jack London Square, Oakland, CA from April 14 – 17, 2011. Building on the success of last year’s show, the 2011 show will run four days and will once again use the former Barnes & Noble building for indoor exhibit space. The outside exhibit area has been expanded to accommodate additional exhibitors, and a new parking garage on the Embarcadero will provide added convenience for exhibitors and attendees.
“Our goal is to make Strictly Sail Pacific 2011 more of a Sailing Event than a boat show,” said Sail America Executive Director and Show Producer Jonathan Banks.
“There will be a focus on FUN, with interactive displays, a match racing event, a new ‘demo-ride’ area, and a VIP night for all in-water exhibitors. Continued improvements to Jack London Square make it one of the best on-the-water venues in the Bay Area.”
In addition, Banks reports that a new marketing plan is in the works, with a goal to increase attendance by over 10%. Marketing enhancements include all-new creative, a re-designed website, a greater focus on interactive marketing, an expanded PR program, and an aggressive media buy. Banks says the plan is to “reach every sailor in the western United States with compelling reasons to attend the show.”
Contracts have been sent out to prior exhibitors and prospects. To maximize the opportunity of securing preferred space, Banks recommends exhibitors return the contract and deposit by the December 31, 2010 deadline. Allocation will begin immediately in 2011, with companies that have submitted contracts getting the first pick.
Please contact Mitch Perkins at (415) 272-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any space-related questions.
As in previous years, Sail America members receive discount space rates and preferential space allocation. If you haven’t already renewed your Sail America membership please Click Here to sign up online, or email Kimberly Tuchon at Kimberly@sailamerica.com to request an invoice.
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