Despite drops in attendance, the National Marine Manufacturers Association is reporting better-than-expected sales at its first five boat shows of the season.
The five shows took place in New York, Kansas City, Mo., Nashville, Tenn., San Diego and New Orleans. Attendance was down by double-digit percentages at all shows, except New Orleans, which saw a 5 percent drop in attendance.
“We expected to be down in attendance this year as a result of the economy, and while we wished we had greater numbers through the gate, we were nonetheless happy with the quality of attendees and both encouraged and optimistic to know that serious, interested buyers were, indeed, attending and buying,” said Ben Wold, NMMA executive vice president, in a statement.
“Exhibitors at shows in each of the five markets have been informing us that sales-wise, they’re doing better than expected — some even saying they’re outperforming last year, which tells us boat shows continue to be a solid selling venue,” he added.