Executive Director’s Corner: Sail America Introduces New Initiatives and Programs
Summer went by in a blur at Sail America, as we worked with the Board and committee members to introduce several new initiatives and programs. As we kick off our show season next week with Strictly Sail, St. Pete, I’m delighted to tell you in this issue of Sail America News about the exciting progress we’ve made in several important areas over the past few months.
I’m pleased to report that our membership drive has got off to a great start. We have already exceeded our revenue numbers from all of last year and we are projected to meet our revenue forecast for this year. All Sail America members recently received a Membership Welcome Pack that included log-in information for the members-only website, a membership certificate, information on the affinity programs, copies of the State of the Industry Research report and the Sailing Statistical Abstract, a luggage tag, a member badge holder, and four complimentary boat show tickets.
The member-only website went live at the beginning of October and provides members with online access to many of Sail America’s membership resources and services, including PR University, a downloadable Sail America member logo, members’ directory, and much more.
Sail America’s first SailFest venture debuted at the Virginia In-Water Expo and SAILFEST® on Sept 14-16. The sailboat exhibitors considered it a great success and liked being together on the sail pier. Most of the exhibitors are planning on coming back next year with more boats! There has also been a lot of interest in the SailFest event at the Baltimore Boat Show in January 2008.
Finding a new venue for the Strictly Sail Pacific show has been a high priority at Sail America. National Show Manager Kevin Murphy has made several trips to California and is optimistic that a potential show site in Sausalito will be approved shortly. I appreciate that many exhibitors had expected a decision to be made by now, but a few more details still need to be finalized before we can make a formal announcement in the next few weeks.
Finally, the General Members Meeting that was held during the Annapolis Sailboat Show drew a record crowd of 200 people to listen to a panel of industry leaders and a renowned global economist discuss the state of the sailing industry and economic trends. I was pleased with the strong attendance and encourage you to stay actively involved with Sail America and to keep our momentum building as we head into 2008.
On a personal note, I would like to congratulate John Peterson for receiving the SAIL Magazine Industry Award for Leadership. John has been a long-time supporter and Board Member of Sail America and has made an enormous contribution to the sailing industry over the years.