BOAT SHOW ROUND-UP
Read the latest news from Strictly Sail Chicago, plus new updates on Strictly Sail Miami,and Strictly Sail Pacific. In addition, some news from other recent shows plus the planned Miami launch of Boat Show Exhibitor Magazine.
ENCOURAGING NEWS FROM STRICTLY SAIL CHICAGO
Strictly Sail Chicago, which ran Jan. 27-30, saw a two percent increase in attendance (15,490 vs. 15,251 in 2010), with reports of dozens of sailboats sold, the NMMA reported. The 2011 show witnessed strong attendance, serious buyers, and happy exhibitors, the latter of whom reported increases in sales over the past couple years.
Here’s what a few exhibitors reported:
- “The Strictly Sail Chicago show outperformed expectations by a wide margin, and for Lats & Atts, it was the third consecutive show to be better than last year. Let's hope this is a sign that things are starting to come back.” — Bob Bitchin, Latitudes & Attitudes
- “We have had non-stop lines; at one point we counted 49 pairs of shoes. We also took a deposit on a 465. It’s been a great show.” — Skip King, Island Packet Yachts
- “2011 had a different feel all around compared with a couple of years ago. We saw more families and more young people enthused by sailing.” — Capt. Brian Earl, Sea Safaris Sailing
- “Strictly Sail bent over backwards to accommodate us and promote the show. It’s been great to see such as positive attitude among the visitors.” — Mark Fiegel, Quantum Sails
- “The attendance on Saturday was much better than any other show we’ve attended. It seems like the right people are coming to this show. We've written many quotes for potential buyers and established some great leads in Chicago.” — Eleanor Lawson and Chris Hood, CW Hood
Press coverage and the show’s new advertising efforts this year made an impact with top-tier local news throughout the Chicago-land region. While the Chicago weather wasn’t extreme this year, the media used the cold weather to promote the show as a great escape and a way to enjoy an early taste of summer.
This year’s show garnered more than 20 TV hits across all local stations. Channel 7, ABC featured numerous mentions and segments prior to the show and throughout the weekend including an in-studio show preview and on site “Live Green” segment with Jose Sanders. Other top segments included an NBC interview with Zac Sunderland, a WGN in-studio segment and many others featured across all local networks.
The show was also heavily featured in print and online outlets. The Chicago Tribune featured the show on the January 24 with a move-in photo, on opening day and throughout the weekend, with Saturday’s paper featuring Strictly Sail on the front page. Other top coverage appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Parent, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Reader, Time Out Chicago, and Chicago Now, a top blog outlet that is owned by the Tribune.
Strictly Sail Miami Sales Surge after Chicago Show
According to Strictly Sail National Sales Manager Kevin Murphy, positive reports from Strictly Sail Chicago Show has stimulated space sales for Strictly Sail Miami show.
"Since the close of the Strictly Sail Chicago show, we have sold several land spaces and added four boats in water. I expect we’ll see a few additional last minute exhibitors over the next 10 days," said Murphy.
"Strictly Sail Miami is offering a nice selection of boats, both monohull and catamarans. Today we have confirmed 73 boats ranging from 12’ to 75’ in water, while our land and booth spaces are overflowing," he said. "Additionally we have several interesting show features, including the new Discover Sailing program which filled 69 seats in the first two days of online sign ups."
Murphy also reports the addition of a dedicated island of floating docks to accommodate an additional seminar tent which will house several top speakers from Chicago who attracted large crowds.
Murphy says the 2011 Strictly Sail Miami will see "the largest group of exhibitors assembled in years" and should make returning to Bayside "very special."
"We are very grateful for the support shown by the sailing industry and are looking forward to great show," he said.
STRICTLY SAIL PACIFIC IS SHAPING UP STRONG
According to Strictly Sail Pacific Sales Manager Mitch Perkins, things are heating up for the west coast’s premier sailboat show.
“Space sales are strong and it looks as though the show will sell out,” said Perkins. “We have many new exhibitors, and we are hopeful that the Americas Cup will generate even more interest in sailing in the Bay Area.”
In addition, Perkins reports that a number of boat manufacturers including Sabre, Antares Catamarans, Morris, Prout and Alerion will be exhibiting at the show for the first time in several years. Another big win is the addition of Coppola Wines as a sponsor.
“This year’s show is going to be a great one,” said Perkins. “The Jack London Square venue is vibrant and in a state of constant improvement. All the restaurants are open and eager to serve the exhibitors and attendees. A new parking garage has opened, providing convenient parking and easy access to the show.
“Jack London Square is one of the best waterfront venues in the Bay Area, featuring doorstep Amtrak service, two international airports within an hour’s drive and all major freeways feeding traffic to within seven blocks of the site,” he added. “Families or couples can make this a San Francisco, Wine Country, Northern California vacation. Yosemite is at its best in April. We hope everyone will come to the show and see the best of California!”
OTHER GREAT SHOW UPDATES!
NMMA REPORTS MORE STRONG SHOW ATTENDANCE
The National Marine Manufacturers Association is reporting more good news from its boat shows and sports shows, with the Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow, Strictly Sail Chicago Boat Show, and Baltimore Boat Show boasting strong crowds, with solid sales reportedly achieved.
According to the NMMA, attendance at the Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow was up nine percent over last year at 37,589, with many exhibitors reporting it was the best show they’d had in years.
Strictly Sail Chicago attendance was up two percent, with 15,490 attendees at this year’s show.
The 2011 Atlantic City Boat Show, which ran Feb. 2-6 at the Atlantic City Convention Center, saw a 114 percent increase in attendance from 16,249 in 2010 to 34,760 in 2011 (last year’s show was forced to shut down early because of a blizzard). According to the NMMA, exhibitors throughout the week reported steady, quality attendance and strong sales.”
Finally, despite the heavy snowstorm that hit the opening day of the Baltimore show, and which severely impacted weekday attendance according to NMMA, weekend attendance spiked significantly and the show closed even with 2010 attendance at14,055).
BOAT SHOW EXHIBITOR MAGAZINE MAKES MIAMI LAUNCH
New on the docket for 2011 is a free national magazine targeted to reach boat show exhibitors, appropriately titled Boat Show Exhibitor, slated to launch in February during the Miami International Boat Show. The magazine is being published by content publisher Imagination with a four time schedule, and underwritten by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
Boat Show Exhibitor is the world’s only magazine dedicated solely to helping boat show exhibitors maximize their primary marketing investment – boat shows. According to the recently released 2010 Boat Show Purchase Influence Report from Foresight Research, boat buyers ranked boat shows as the most influential factor during the consideration phase of the sales funnel. Each issue of Boat Show Exhibitor will help the exhibitor realize sales opportunities and improve their ROI via exclusive case studies, display tips, show sales and marketing tools, and technology and techniques from veterans of the boating and related consumer show industries.
“Boat Show Exhibitor brings targeted information to all boat show exhibitors to maximize your boat show investment – whether you’re a sail, power or outdoors-focused exhibitor,” notes Carl Blackwell, chief marketing officer at NMMA. “Sailboat manufacturers, sailing accessory manufacturers and dealers and retailers of sailboats and gear all have a vested interest in boat shows around the country. Now, they’ll be able to leverage the tips, data and insights provided in each issue of Boat Show Exhibitor to take full advantage of boat shows and their marketing power to help them increase sales.”
The 2011 Boat Show Exhibitor editorial calendar will feature:
- An unparalleled source of primary research and data leveraging some of the industry’s most robust research and statistics from third-party and insider resources and organizations.
- What works to get show attendees to visit your display and how to increase time with prospects ready to make a purchase.
- Expert advice on managing prospects before, during and after the show; building a pipeline of future customers.
- Designing your show experience to address current owners and future buyers in addition to those ready to buy at or shortly after the show.
- Case studies and insights from top performing consumer show veterans to showcase best practices for maximizing boat show ROI.
A complete editorial calendar can be accessed online from the magazine’s official website www.boatshowexhibitor.com
Sail America members and Strictly Sail exhibitors will automatically receive a complimentary subscription to Boat Show Exhibitor. Other interested subscribers and/or advertisers are encouraged to visit www.boatshowexhibitor.com to sign up for their free copy of Boat Show Exhibitor and learn more about getting involved.