Social media abuzz with Fort Lauderdale show planning

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The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show doesn’t start until Thursday, but there’s already plenty of buzz around #FLIBS2014 on social media.

Caterpillar urged Twitter followers on Tuesday to identify the Cat engine that was pictured in its display and the Ferretti Group touted the new 870 that will debut at the show, which will run through Monday.

In the days prior to the show’s opening, a flurry of tweets from major players in the marine industry — from Pershing Yachts and Ocean Alexander to Peters & May and MarineMax — detailed the progress of display building, shared photos of new products to be debuted and in some cases just posted rampant emoji to express sheer anticipation of the show’s 55th installation.

Instagram pics ranged from ramp-up snapshots and selfies, or “boaties,” as Discover Boating has coined them, to professional bird’s-eye-view photos of austere yachts underway.

Show producer Show Management, which is owned by Soundings Trade Only parent company Active Interest Media, offered attendees a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card for best photo and a $100 Visa gift card for best video posted on Facebook, Instagram or Vine.

(The group spread word of the promotion on what other venue but Twitter? Follow @BoatShowUpdates to see the vast number of retweets Show Management has posted from other companies using #FLIBS2014.)

Interiors of yachts on display, such as the Riva 27 Iseo, were on the promoter’s Facebook page, as well as the plethora of media coverage the show has received to preview the massive event.

It seems the industry has come far, with such a diverse array of tweets before the show even opens; in one three-hour span on Tuesday, nearly 45 tweets from nearly as many companies and stakeholders graced the Twittersphere.

Vendors, lawyers, manufacturers, brokerage firms, insurers: Tweets and Instagram posts were so diverse it could even indicate a shift in the marine industry’s embracement of all things social media.

If nothing else, the prevalence of posts has given a way for those too busy to check out competitors’ booths on foot to glimpse their offerings, and the MyBoatShow app has made it easy to follow posts related to FLIBS 2014.

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