Strictly Sail Miami Draws Over 20,000 Attendees
Strictly Sail Miami drew over 20,000 attendees to Bayside’s Miamarina from Feb. 14-18, down slightly from last year. The show’s attendance, said organizers, also reflected the current challenging market, and a big rainstorm Sunday was believed to have kept thousands of potential attendees away.
Yet Strictly Sail Miami organizers noted that the show still succeeded in generating sales and future leads for exhibitors. With its international flavor and crowd-pleasing in-water display of sailboats and gear, Strictly Sail Miami is considered a premier industry event that jump-starts the season’s sales.
This year, Strictly Sail expanded its comprehensive seminar series to close to 100 seminars. The popular Discover Sailing introduction-to-sailing program also featured world adventurer Mike Harker giving show-goers sailing rides on the Wanderlust III, a 2007 Hunter 49 that has circumnavigated the globe.
As a first-time exhibitor, Greer Gunby of Santa Cruz Yachts in Ponte Vedra, FL, was impressed with the individual attention and helpfulness he received at the show from Sail America staff.
“We needed to add a couple of exhibitors credentials and it could have been hard to work with on that, but it was not,” he said. “We had a company function one of the days, and everyone was helpful as far as arranging for a close parking space, getting us a golf cart to move coolers, etc.” He added, “In general, I think everyone at Sail America realized how important our customers were to us, and by helping us do a better job, the more the whole show benefited.”
Strictly Sail Miami also awarded these Best of Booth Awards:
Best large booth – Schaefer Marine
Best Small Booth – Glacier Bay
Best In-Water – Lagoon America
Best In-Water - Leopard Catamaran
Strictly Sail Miami takes place February 12-16, 2009, at Bayside’s Miamarina. For more information on these two shows, visit StrictlySail.com or call Sail America at (401) 841-0900.