The 2012 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail attracted 100,917 visitors from around the world - down 3 percent from 2011, when 102,374 attended the five-day show, which ended Monday.
Similar to what the industry has been seeing at boat shows across the country, the National Marine Manufacturers Association is hearing reports from many exhibitors — both boat and accessory — of strong, quality traffic and record sales since the economic downturn.
“I continue to get testimonials and talk to exhibitors as they’re moving out, and people really seem to have had a really great show. A lot of people are reporting their best show in four or five years,” show manager Cathy Rick-Joule told Soundings Trade Only on Wednesday. “We’re getting some really solid sales results and really solid, positive comments.”
Though attendance was down slightly this year, the good news, she said, is “we are ahead of our three-year average, so we’re ahead by 4 percent over three years.”
“We’re not in the numbers game as far as attendance goes. … The quality and the seriousness of the buyer is what’s of greatest concern from our perspective. Attendance is a piece of the puzzle, but it’s certainly not our barometer. Our barometer is product sales,” Rick-Joule added.
Among those reporting a strong show were Dometic Marine, Statement Marine, Hell's Bay Boatworks and Deep Impact Boats.
“This year's Miami International Boat Show was the best in the last few years,” Hell’s Bay Boatworks president Chris Peterson said in a statement. “The attendance was steady and strong. The buyers were upbeat. We at Hell's Bay were very optimistic that the show has kicked off a great season for boat sales and the momentum from the show should continue for months ahead.”
Tim Gallagher, general manager of Deep Impact Boats, added, “We were very pleased with the show results, which yielded on-site sales as well as a long list of leads requiring follow-up.”
More coverage of the 2012 Miami show will be in the April issue of Soundings Trade Only.