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Great Lakes show sees bustling crowds

The second of the three major fall in-water shows on the Great Lakes finished strong last weekend, while Discover Boating wants your opinion about future content.

The North American Demo Boat Show at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, enjoyed a 9 percent increase in attendance for its four-day run.

“We were up double digits until some rain on Sunday knocked us down some,” show manager Ken Alvey said. “However, we’re happy with these results and, more importantly, so are the exhibitors.”

“It’s the best Saturday in 10 years,” said John Sima of Sima Marine (Prestige Yachts). “You know the attendance has been much higher than last year, the crowds are extremely well-behaved and our boarding lines have been all we can handle. A very good show with serious prospects for us.”

Serious is how Trey Hardy, general manager of MarineMax in Port Clinton, described it. “We will nearly double our show sales from last year. There’s been a lot of great activity, a very positive boat buying atmosphere and we’ll be working with an excellent prospect list for follow-up.”

Ted Patrick of Lake & Bay Yachts (Egg Harbor, Predator, Buddy Davis) got right to the point: “Attendance clearly up. Inquiries up. Interest up. And plenty of new leads to chase.”

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Demonstration rides have become a trademark of this show. The design allows for more than 40 boats to be located on the Demo Dock or in locations where some exhibitors are able to get in and out of the show from their display slips. That includes a special area for a Discover Sailing feature provided daily by Harbor North (Hunter, Hanse, Laser) and a fleet of 10 kayaks for the hands-on Kayak Experience provided by the Akron (Ohio) Power Squadron.

Overall, this show is another confirmation that the industry’s fall shows are expected to do well. The next (and last) big fall event on the Great Lakes will be Sept. 17-20 at the Michigan Boating & Outdoor Festival produced by the Michigan Boating Industries Association.

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Discover Boating survey

How about taking a minute to participate in a survey aimed at adding to the national Discover Boating campaign?

Discover Boating is on the lookout for new ideas that the creative team can use to develop the most relevant, up-to-date content. Discover Boating’s success has been its ability to inform both new and experienced boaters, and particularly to promote the boating lifestyle in general. Indeed, Discover Boating is the most wide-ranging source of boating information in our industry.

“Great ideas can come from anywhere,” vice president of marketing Carl Blackwell said, “and we are looking for input from the industry’s best and brightest as we brainstorm new web content. The content can cover areas like cruising, fishing, watersports and sailing. We also feature good ‘how-to’ subjects and, of course, safety-related topics.”

OK, so perhaps nothing is coming to your mind right now. So how about taking a moment to ask your staff for their ideas about what would make good content? Engage your team, then, pass along their ideas to Discover Boating.

It isn’t complicated. I urge you and/or your staff to take a few minutes to complete a simple Discover Boating survey by clicking here.

It’s important to be engaged. After all, the past success of the Discover Boating program has directly resulted in retail sales for dealers around the country. We need that to continue.


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