Miami show attendance reported

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021710MiamiAttendance at the 2010 Miami International Boat show was down slightly from the previous year, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

The NMMA says 91,415 people attended this year’s show, compared to 96,736 in 2009. That’s a 5.5 percent drop in attendance, which the association says is typical to what it’s been seeing across the board this year.

In addition, a nor’easter hindered travel to the show for many attendees.

“Exhibitors across the board are reporting a great show with significant sales increases from last year and, despite the drop in temperatures, we had very solid weekend in attendance,” show manager Cathy Rick-Joule said. “The accessory exhibitors are reporting that they are up from last year between 20-30 percent and boats [were] sold.”


15 comments on “Miami show attendance reported

  1. Flying Pig

    Hard evidence shows a weaker show, at least slightly. Journalistic quesstimates show massive gains. This kind of B.S. serves nobody. Even the pathological liers in the industry almost all said that things still are going down, not back up to the good old days. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel but not with a naked eye just yet.

  2. CaptDHD

    Are there any exhibiting dealers, boats or accessory vendors, that would care to verify the sales increase numbers posted here?

  3. Dave Raymond

    I spent the first three days of the show walking the floors and talking with current clients and hopefully future clients.  Conversations with those people basically sounded like this.  We are seeing people coming into our booths and purchasing. I witnesses it with my own eyes as well.  As to boat makers, they are in optimistic frames of mind.  Are we going to get back to 400k annual sales. probably not for a while. Are the boat builders slowly ramping up.  Yes.  We would all like to see things get back to normal after the past 12 month beating that has transpired.  I think it goes without saying, we are going to have toget used to a new normal.  When it comes, remains to be seen.  Analyst seem to to think that is going to take 12-24 months to see.  Never the less, lets all keep working hard to keep a positive attitude knowing that when your at the bottom, you can only go up.

  4. economy101

    I agree with the Flying Pig and think he has hit the naill on the head.  I also agree with Obama on the boat buying comment.  Come on people, get real.

  5. Sales Rep

    Seems like NMMA tells a different story for each show.  NY numbers were supposed to be up as well as other East Coast shows.  Now the numbers are down, and they are telling us this is the norm at other shows.  Just tell us the truth and let us all deal with accurate facts.  Something they could report on 30 days after the show is how many deal actually closed.  Might surprise us all.

  6. DudleyB

    We finished our annual Boat Show in Alaska on Feb. 7th. Our attendance was down 25%, but boat sales were up and the consumers attitude was much improved. There was virtually no “Doom and Gloom” from the consumers versus last year situation and it was a successful show for the dealers. Retail financing for prospective buyers is still more difficult to get which certainly continues to impede a lot of sales.

  7. Boat Show Veteran

    Unfortunately, manufacturers and boat dealer must start to come to terms that this is the boating industries armaggedon.  there is not a boat show in the world that will fix what is going on right now.  There is no economic climate anywhere in the USA or elsewhere that will generate enough business to bring the manufacturers and dealers back to profitibility. We were the second industry behind housing to start the slide downward in 2007, and we will not come back until the housing industry is corrected and corrected for a very long time.
    The arm chair economists in our business that would say, it will be better in 6 months, or it will be better after this show or that show, were dead wrong, now it’s time to figure out as an industry if there is a course of action that could salvage some part of the industry.  finance is impossible to get, retail or wholesale.  the boats being sold at auctions and repo centers are further devastating manufacturers and dealers. customers are so and far in between that we are all fighting over the same customers, and cutting our own throats trying to get the deal away from the other dealer.  It is a real mess, with many obsticales in the way.  I refer to it as Check Mate.
    How to proceed from here is the tough part. some will just leave the industry. some will lose every dime they ever made trying to keep it going. Some manufacturers will continue to shop the country side for a dealer with floor plan to stuff a few boats on their lots to keep their cash flow going.  The real answer might not even be do-able because we are so locked into what we have been doing for years. What  might be a good starting idea could be something like this.
    Manufacturers that are commited to staying around and see this through, need to pick 4 or 5 of their best dealers, and come up with a marketing and financial strategy that will in essence turn these dealers into factory outlets for that particular brand. That means less dealers so close to each other carrying the same brands, but what it will do is stabilize the pricing and availability of product. It will need to provide non-traditional financing, even factory consignments. Put pressure on banks to not give all of their repos to just a couple outlets and give some to dealers so they don’t have to compete against the internet repo and auction boats. the manufacturer needs to get a plan to standardize their dealers to have an almost chain store type look. I know not everyone will even want to think in these terms, I know it is radical and maybe these ideas are non-starters, but multipule ideas have got to get onto the table if this industry is going to get healthier and survive. Or we should just admit to ourselves that the end is near, and that maybe 20% of the remaining dealers and manufacturers will survive and when that happens you can pick up the pieces and start over again if possible.
    This is just the begininng, and there will need a lot of thought to go into something like this.  But I will tell you this, unless we try some type of out of the box thinking, and yes an enormous commitment from boat builders and dealers, then we will be doomed as an industry.  I have been in this industry for a long time, and I just can’t see waiting and waiting, while we are losing and losing more money and ground to failure.  The hand writing is on the wall after the Miami Boat Show. There is no help coming, we must do something to help ourselves.

  8. Mitchell Jones

    I normally read the articles and enjoy the education I receive from these posts however; i feel compelled to provide some commentary to “boat show veteran”.
    Spot on as they say!  His/Her commentary on where the industry needs to funnel its resources is correct. I am the President of The Tennessee Marina Association and I see several sides of this equation. Manufacturers, wholsale and trade, retail and marina’s.
    Manufacturers should focus on a smaller group of dealers with larger territory and provide a consignement/brokerage agreement with its retail outlets. This will drive some costs out the process for the dealers and manufacturers and build only what can be sold in less than 90 days.  Promote a system of dealer transfers to satisfy the consumer needs. Manufacturers should not sign new dealers in exisiting territories so that they can get a few orders and start manufacturing.  This is happening and will provide for another round of dealer failures within 12-24 months as the new dealers are not able to stay in business, applying more downward pressure on pricing and giving the industry analyst another negative subject to talk about.  Manufacturers need not take the approach that the small business owner or large dealer can not sustain operating losses to infinity.
    Retailers need to keep inventory levels down and focus on cash management with a service mindset.  Creat service and or management agreements with existing customers.  Be responsive to the existing boat owners needs.  Work with marina’s to help retail inventory.  Be in charge of your balance sheet!  Monitor it everyday!  Tell the manufacturer that you will cover asset insurance, pay slip fees and garner a commission in lieu of buying the boat and paying interest and frieght expenses.  Keeps the balance sheet clean.
    Marinas in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Georgia, North Alabma and North Mississippi are generally healthy and willing to assist the reatiler in getting product in the market.  They are investing in (some) new slips and infrastructure to keep the properties looking nice and safe. Rates are staying level. Service and customer communication is number “1” now more than ever.
    We as an industry have not experiienced the new normal.  It has not arrived and is still 12-36 months in the future.  Unemployument, housing and consumer confidence must show significant improvment before the “New Normal” exposes itself and when it does, those of us that have weathered this storm will attribute it to alot of sleepless nights and sheer will!
    My commentary and Thank You for the posts!

  9. Fiestaboat Pat

    Boatshow vetern you have just laid out my business model for the last 10 years. We have been scratching niches &working with friends (boat dealers) who had money & were focused on serving a targeted audience with a few targeted products that they had extreme knowledge & faith in. We fronted boats that we wanted to get reactions to, we even co-oped the right Friends (dealers) on sales models. We tried to avoid  the “be everything &  have everything 100% floor planed dealers” who’s inventory is now being liquidated at repo sites & supposed repo dealers.
    I can tell you it works.
    The Miami show suffered from what every recreational pursuit has suffered from this winter in Florida:  “El Nino” -very clear but cold (for Florida) weather days  followed by wet & windy warmer, but not normal temp. days. The Florida State Fair which just ended suffered a 40% plus drop in atendance due to the weather. The Daytona 500 had a decrease as well on Sunday.
    The key word is FOCUS..

  10. SeaBlazer

    Our company exhibited at Seattle and Miami. Both shows were excellent. Our sales at Seattle doubled over the previous year, Miami was just as good. We sell electronics, my discussions with other accessory companies at Seattle and Miami were very positive, particularly in Seattle. When I mentioned that the attendance numbers (for Miami) to a coworker, she was surprised, the traffic in the electronics room was way up from last year, particularly on Thursday and Friday. Saturday, Sunday and Monday had a good share of tire kickers, but there were still a few sales. The company next to our booth sells specialty radios, by Friday afternoon they had sold more units than 2009. So the news is; some product categories are doing well, others will take more time to recover.

  11. Ole Boat Builder

    Let me try to explain.
    I just got back from the Miami Boat Show, after a 5 year hiathus (yea, I’m retired).
    An 18 foot outboard…..$21,000
    A 21 foot runabout…….$34,000
    A 24 foot ski boat………$42,000
    An the list goes on.  When I was in the business, we had a formula (for ever 1% price increase we lost 2% of the buying public).  Today, boat prices are up over 25% from around 4-5 years ago, so naturally, we’ve lost over 50% of the markets buying public.  They simply can’t afford to buy a boat anymore.
    Of all the boats in the show, most had anywhere from $5-10,000 worth of accessories as standard equipment, and while someone who can afford this additional equipment will pay the price, those who cannot afford it, simply go home…..without a boat.
    Want to expand your business?  Build a base boat, no accessories, and price it accordingly.  While it looks good for your bottom line to sell a boat for $30,000 instead of $22,500, doesn’t it make since to sell twice as much for a lower price…….as long as the margin is the same?
    Don’t cry about a shrinking market……….when we’re the very ones who created the problem!

  12. Larry G

    I am and interested observer at this point. Haven’t attended a boat show in 2 years due to the lack of interest in my Marine Virtual Tour business. The manufacturers are cuting their ad budgets.
    It is no surprise that the electronics tents are full. It looks like people would rather upgrade the boat they have than replace it.
    Boat sales are tied to consumer confidence. When people start spending again it will be good for everybody. Keep the faith.

  13. Blake Davis

    The article should state that the fact that these attendance figures are solely for the Convention Center as the other venues (where most of the boats are located) charge no admission therefore it’s impossible to ascertain the difference between bonafide boat show antendees, or salesman, Captains, and crew coming and going.
    The BOAT show (Collins and Sealine Marina) was a pale shadow of it’s former self as far as amount of boats being displayed and actual foot traffic on the docks. The good news is that it was very easy to get around-in –out and one could easily find metered parking spots.  Many actual yacht buyers have learned long ago that the Internet is a 24 hour/7 days a week “boat show” and one can buy boat parts, electronics, and even Yachts for less money than any “brick, mortar, or tent” location and have their purchases delivered directly to their door without paying any sales tax- AT their convenience, dressed in their underwear, while half in the bag, which beats the heck out of having to schlep around physically and answer “how you doing, please remove your shoes?” from salesmen a thousand times. Basically these boat shows are nothing but entertainment venues for those bored at home, and want a change of weather or scenery. The day’s of one of these vacationers buying a Yacht or a big expensive piece of gear on a whim is pretty much gone as most all have first done their homework- on the Internet.  IF they buy at the show they want to see  deals sometimes much LESS than what it cost the manufacturer to build the damn boat!  BTW- MANY Nudie bars in Miami have gone out of business too for the above exact same reasons.

  14. Harbor10

    How many sale are getting lost to Direct Factory Sales. The Internetwill help the Manufacturers sell direct, They all have sad stories about the dealer that backed out of a custom, but they need to keep the cash flow, so they will sell direct…Cash is King, and you can always find another dealer!!

  15. brad

    as a show promoter my self, the attendance numbers come in the end of each day compared to last years numbers. most promoters are not honest with there numbers. as for sales, most people were down any where from 25 to 50% over last year. this is in boats. there were a couple of exceptions, a large brunswick brand dealer stayed flat compared to last year, another increased sales 100% selling 4 boats instead of 2, another was down 200% selling 1 instead of 3. its amazing how percentages change so much when looking at smaller volumes.

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