NMMA addresses New York show compromise

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The decision the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show made to return to its original dates in 2016 did not have to do with pressure from the Friends of Javits, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the group that owns and produces the show.

“The year 2016 was a challenging year for the Javits Center, so we made our decision based on a business decision and not the influence of a group,” regional show manager Jon Pritko told Trade Only Today. “We didn’t want to harm another show, but we also didn’t want to make any concessions we deemed to be detrimental to the show. We worked hard to get the dates we had, but we felt for that one year, especially since the show didn’t fall directly with the holidays, we thought it would help us move forward.”

The show agreed to go back to its original date of Jan. 6-10, 2016 as part of a deal with other stakeholders after Gov. Andrew Cuomo assigned the show more favorable dates from 2015 to 2019. Cuomo also announced the addition of a fall in-water show.

In August, Cuomo said he would assign the show more favorable dates and add a fall show to help boost the marine industry in light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. The announcement sparked controversy among the trade group Friends of Javits.

The deal reached this month involves about 20 trade shows that take place from January through March, including the New York International Gift Fair and the National Retail Federation Show.

Many of the shows agreed to reduce their setup and breakdown time or to start on a Saturday instead of a Sunday.

“We have for other years done some abbreviated move-ins and move-outs,” Pritko said. “It just proves that we will work with everyone as long as it’s not detrimental for the show. We’re looking forward to the future and to working with the partners we have at the Javits Center.”

Pritko told Trade Only Today in August that criticism of the governor’s decision to give the boat show more favorable dates from 2015 to 2019 was misplaced. “We didn’t get new dates. We’re just going back to our original dates,” Pritko said. “We were moved to less desirable dates and attendance dropped. They didn’t work.”

— Reagan Haynes

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