NMMA reports stronger boat show season

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association said today that 70 percent of its winter boat and sport shows saw an increase in attendance and that the others remained flat or were down by single digits.

Many exhibitors across the NMMA shows reported sales increases from last year, strong leads and more attendees looking to make a purchase this year, the association said.

“Increases in attendance and reports of strong sales at shows reinforce notions of pent-up demand and the beginning of an industry recovery in 2011 and into 2012,” said Ben Wold, executive vice president of NMMA boat and sportshows, in a statement.

“In addition to positive economic conditions and decent weather, NMMA’s aggressive marketing efforts, the NMMA Advantage and new show attractions were just a few of the ways we worked to drive attendance,” he added. “Now we’ll analyze our efforts against results to develop even more ways to improve our shows and ensure we continue producing valuable shows for exhibitors and attendees.”

The NMMA produced 14 shows this year and attendance increased at 10 of them: Nashville Boat & Sportshow (5 percent); Atlanta Boat Show (1 percent); Kansas City Boat & Sportshow (7 percent); Minneapolis Boat Show (26 percent); Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow (9 percent); Strictly Sail Chicago (2 percent); Atlantic City Boat Show (114 percent); St. Louis Boat & Sportshow (9 percent); Miami International Boat Show; (12 percent) and New England Boat Show (5 percent).

The other four shows had flat attendance or saw single-digit declines: The Baltimore Boat Show broke even with 2010 attendance; the Chicago Boat, RV & Outdoors Show was down 7 percent; the New York Boat Show was down 6 percent; and Strictly Sail Miami was down 8 percent, compared with 2009.

The Northwest Sportshow, which is scheduled for March 30-April 3, closes out the NMMA’s show season.


2 comments on “NMMA reports stronger boat show season

  1. Curtis

    It does not matter how many come to the show, it matters how many people bought a boat.
    I think it is great the consumer is still interested, but unfortunatley they are not interested in buying. The latest registration stats I have seen are trending down. What would be very interesting news (if the dealers were truthful) would be the comparison to booth size and the related sales over the last 4 years from the boat shows. My guess is not many dealers are tracking that info because they do not want to feel any worse than they are already.

  2. BS Detective

    No mention of Tampa and the increase in attendance doesn’t mean squat.
    Anybody can increase attendance by having television stars at your event to draw people in but good portions of those people are not boaters or even interested in boating.
    How about a poll of the dealers and sales closed at the show instead of how many people simply attended. Does the attendance include paid tickets for adults or children too? Does it take into account that attendance of 20,000 really mean a potential 3,000 to 3,500 customers.
    I really hope boating is coming back to life in 2011 but this press release is not reliable data to go by.

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