Organizers cancel Boston Fall Boat Show

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The Boston Fall Boat Show will not take place this year, organizers announced.

“Due to the current economic climate, the local marine marketplace cannot support a show at this time. We simply could not get enough additional exhibitor support to make the numbers work for 2011,” show manager Warren Kelly said in a statement.

“If all the exhibitors returned from last year, we would still have a significant shortfall in revenue,” he added. “We need new dealers and new brands to enter this market to produce a profitable show. This has been a major show in this region for many years, and it will be back.”

The show is owned by Boat Shows Inc., a subsidiary of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association.

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Comments

11 comments on “Organizers cancel Boston Fall Boat Show

  1. jim Raycroft

    While I love crawling around all kinds of boats any time anywhere, I never understood a Boston Boat Show in the fall. Considering the “current economic climate, the local marine marketplace” coupled with a boating season as short as it is in NE – why not consider an In-Water Boston Boat Show presented at the new Fan Pier Marina with exhibitor tents on the adjacent land area (Newport Boat Shows come to mind). A Boston In-Water Boat Show in the late spring or summer when New Englanders are ramped up about the coming boating season rather than in the fall when the fleet is being shrink-wrapped, winterized, and boaters are thinking about the cost of that Florida or Caribbean charter vacations. Boston has an incredible waterfront that draws thousands of residents and visitors on any given summer day even with no specific waterfront venue. It’s just a thought, but maybe attracting exhibitors and customers would be a bit more successful if it was done at a time when that proud new owner could toss that shiny new purchase in the water and use it with the family for a couple of months rather than expecting him or her to buy it just in time to figure out where to store it for the long cold winter? It’s a long way from October to June around here. I’m happy to help – get in touch.

  2. ken crew

    I HAVE BEEN A BOAT SHOW DEALER FOR OVER 20 YEARS..FROM OHIO TO FLORIDA,,SOME OF YOU DEALERS NEED TO WAKE UP , SMELL THE BREEZE, THE TIDE HAS SHIFTED, THE BUYERS DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A BOAT TO DRIVE TO WORK,THE PROMOTORS WOULD HAVE US BELEIVE THAT THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO SHOW OFF YOUR MDSE.////ALL BOATS HAVE A BOW AND STERN, AND A CHUNK OF FIBERGLASS INBETWEEN,,USE THE MONEY ,TIME TO ADVERTISE IN LOCAL MEDIA YOU WILL GET MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK…ITS STILL THE ECONOMY STUPID.

  3. compact45

    Boats shows are and have been a dying breed along with the declining new boat market.
    Attendence and sales has been dropping at shows for years and people dont purchase boats at shows anymore so the return on investent is not there for the dealer or manufacturer to attend shows. Thus we dont need as many shows for people to “not” attend.

  4. vissionquest

    As part of the industry, I am sure I look at shows differently however; I have been going to boat shows for close to 50 years, and I continue to go to shows that offer something special for me to see. This could be new models, accesories, or just where I can catch up with others in the industry in one place in the quickest amount of time. Boston has failed to atract my attention. There has to be some unique feature for a show to be interesting, whether it be the date, the size, who is attracted to the show, location, or something you will not see any place else. Shows can be good for the industry, but that is different from the industry being good for shows.

  5. LARRY

    I’VE ALSO DONE MY SHARE OF BOAT SHOWS, IN FACT FOR MANY YEARS I DEPENDED ON THE SHOWS FOR MAJOR REVENUE. THEN THEY GREW IN NUMBERS, BUT DECLINED IN ATTENDANCE, THEY ALSO WENT UP IN COST, (I remember when my booth at Miami Intl in February was around $ 3500, with nine days, then it went to 7 days, then final year I exhibited booth cost was around $7000 and for five days!!!) AND THIS WAS IN 2006, CONSIDERING MIAMI & FT LAUDERDALE WERE THE BEST ONES, ALSO HIGH PRICE ONES.
    COMPARE IT TO LARGE AIR SHOWS LIKE OSHKOSH EEA, IN WISCONSIN COSTING $1000 30X20 BOOTH, WITH DECENT ATTENDANCE AND GREAT RETURN ON INVESTMENT. (pilots spend money and have some disposable income, plus many fish & boat)
    AGAIN TOO MANY SHOWS, NO LONGER INTERESTING TO THE PUBLIC, (there’s always another one in a month or two”, SEEMS TO BE CONSUMER MENTALITY, OF COURSE THE ECONOMY IS ALSO HORRIBLE STILL, WHICH OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT HELP.
    I’M GLAD I NO LONGER SPEND MONEY AT SHOWS, WITH THE INTERNET & OTHER PRODUCTIVE AND COST EFFECTIVE MEDIUMS AVAILABLE….
    NOT SURPRISED AT ALL WITH THE BOSTON OUTCOME…. IT WAS NEVER A GREAT SHOW, EVEN IN ITS HEYDAYS!!

  6. lcoulter

    Boat Shows are over. It’s past tense. Old history. People will stay home and just ‘surf the web’ looking for boats.

    After 28 years of going to shows to sell boats we are giving up on boat shows. Too costly, too much work, and no retail selling going on.

  7. Rod

    I am a lifelong boater and formerly worked at a marine store in Boston. So, I can look at this show from both sides, although I admit that I never attended except as an exibitor. The time of year is not so much a problem as the fact that the show was always 2 weeks after Newport (a larger show) and I think one week after Norwalk, CT. This cut down on exibitors in some cases, just too busy. The location was not bad, the indoor exibit space was small, but never filled the 2 years that I was there. There was more space on the second floor, but it was definitely not needed those years. This show was once a HUGE show, but I think in those days it was in hte Spring or mid-summer? One huge problem from my perspective is that parking is not plentiful, especially on the Thursday and Friday. The first year that I worked this show I ended up parking in the underground garage across the street, $26.00 for the day!! Outdoor parking in a lot next to the place was limited, but hte price was much better at $8.00 for the day, and meant a pleasent walk past the boat basin. Public transportation was the best way to get there, but not always ideal. Attendance was low, and I think included too many “hull thumpers”, the boat show version of tire kickers, people not interested in a boat… just looking for something to do that weekend, maybe they’d go to a car show or camping show the next week. I’m not totally dismissing these people, since it was always a possibility that they might be inspired while there and discover that boating is not just for the rich, but can be very affordable! (But ,were entry-level boats really featured??)For someone SERIOUS about a new boat, the Fall shows do allow time for the order to be filled long before Spring Delivery, more time to prepare the new boat for their first season, more time for new boaters to take a safety course, more time to explore marinas for summer dockage/mooring. It is a chance to possibly find a “left-over” that the dealer wants to sell. For a couple of years this show included a brokerage section, again… sell the boat before winter storage costs kick in.
    However, this show was “dying” even back in 2005 and 2006 when I worked there (selling chartbooks and software), the following year the show organizers sent out a lot of “free” tickets to boost attendance, and again in 2008.
    Did I enjoy the show the 2 years that I worked there? YES! But the fact that I had time to walk around and enjoy the show……… kind of shows how slow it got at times! In 2005 Thursday was DEAD, since the Red Sox were playing a deciding playoff game…. as soon as the game started, the show became a virtual ghost town! I GREAT time for any serious buyers to come, but who knew?

  8. Dick Mulvey

    I recall telling Hunter Marine that the Midwest Shows were a total waste of Money 5 years ago! Consumers have the Web now and they run the show. Most purchases happen in the Driveway or at the Yacht Club.

    Stop wasting your money on these Foolish events. The Boston Crowd got the message. Maybe some of these MFG will be around in five years if they decide to sell consumer direct, many boat builders have been selling direct for years. I sell Snap-On tools now, much more fun and profitable than Sailboats.
    Good Luck From the Big Lake in Michigan…

  9. SOUND MARINE LTD (Bobby Costa)

    ~We gave up on boat shows for a few years now. Decided to put all our advertising dollars in a different advertising venue. (And it’s working)We get more sales and inquiries by advertising than by sitting at a Boat Show, especially the New York Boat Shows where to run an extension cord you need a licensed UNION electrician. Is the floor space worth it? Absolutely Not. When the show organizers start getting a grip on the economy and realize that it’s also effecting the exhibitors, reduce the space costs, then perhaps I and a lot of other exhibitors will start showing up again.

  10. brad

    As the producer of the south florida boat show, which I cancelled this year, I get it! I ran a weekend boat sale instead. What s the differance? Alot. No carpeting, bring new and used , cut rates by 50%, free admission to the public. Results? Low turnout, quaslified people, 26 sales closed between 10 dealers. This industry, or whats left of it, can’t afford the cost of shows in the past. There is just no longer the sales volume to justify it. Next year I will be running 3 boat sales. How do I make my money? I bring in used boats that I sell!

  11. Dick Mulvey

    # Dick Mulvey wrote: (Re-post From Trade Only Blog)
    December 26th, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Responding to customer leads generated on the internet is critical. With the pervasive nature of opportunities on-line, and boat manufacturers who no longer enforce dealer territory agreements, the early bird will at least be in front of the line. The response
    must be well thought out. It is no longer he who is first that wins, so many other factors effect consumer decisions. Buyers are looking for immediate delivery with complete options, service incentives, free slip etc. Just a great price from fly by night marina will not win the race.

    What is really the tougher issue now are the boat shows. So many
    attendees at these shows are no longer buyers. Brokers are spending countless hours calling customers who have no ability to buy, and attend these shows for pure entertainment. Most boat manufacturers do a very poor job of qualifying any of these leads. If they can fog a mirror, sign them up! This must be improved!
    Dick Mulvey Sailboatsails@Gmail.com

    Although I hold lending institutions mostly responsible for the
    crisis the Boating industry is in, we need to look at our Direct Marketing channels. I have found that the Internet is king if used effectively.
    The internet, Not Boat Shows are the future of your marketing efforts.
    Good Luck Gentleman..
    07/14/2011 Dick Mulvey Harbor10@Aol.com

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