After four years of competing with other shows, coupled with the down economy, the National Marine Manufacturers Association has canceled the Des Moines Sportshow.
“At the end of the day we just weren’t successful with it,” Ben Wold, NMMA executive vice president in charge of boat shows, told Soundings Trade Only this morning.
The 66th annual show was scheduled for Feb. 21-24, 2009, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
NMMA purchased the show four years ago from General Sport Shows and initially held it at its traditional location, the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Wold says the event was moved two years ago in an effort to create a new personality and allow it stand out from other shows at the fairgrounds.
“Des Moines is a market that has way too many shows — five or six within a two-month period,” said Wold.
Wold said it generally takes three or four years for a new show or new location to take hold. With the economic downturn and the continuing slump in marine sales, he said the Des Moines show never got off the ground.
“We gave it a good shot,” he said. “At the end of the day, the industry needs to take a long, hard look at the shows [it] supports.
“Some markets are better served by local producers,” he continued, “and Des Moines is one of them.”
— Melanie Winters