NMTA Ups Interactive Boat Show Game

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Today and tomorrow all eyes will be on the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s introduction of Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show LIVE. It’s expected to raise the bar for the boating industry to a new level.

“As long as in-person gatherings are temporarily on hold, traditional shows like our Anacortes event are on hold, too,” explains George Harris, President/CEO of NMTA. “But the unique boat show experience and the opportunity for buyers to shop, tour and compare boats all in one place while talking to multiple dealers and brokers shouldn’t stop. So, we’re taking our Anacortes show to the digital world.”

Unlike many of today’s virtual boat show formats that are primarily static listings of boats, Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show LIVE will provide participants with the ability to talk and meet with as many salespeople and tour as many boats as they want during show hours via Zoom meeting rooms. There will be 35 Zoom meetings simultaneously - one for each exhibitor - that will connect buyers and sellers in a live online, person to person format. You can see the show website here.

Show hours will be: today (Thursday, June 25) the show opens online from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Eastern; 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm Pacific. Tomorrow (Friday, June 26) the show runs from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm Eastern; 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Pacific.

During show hours, attendees will use red “go live” buttons to connect directly to a dealer, broker or accessory exhibitor and their sales staff for a live tour of any of the more than 150 featured boats and products.

In advance of the show, visitors are able to use blue “set appt” buttons for each exhibitor to make appointments outside of show hours.

For show visitors, admission is free, with no limit to the number of in-person Zoom meetings and tours they can attended. In addition, NMTA will provide concierge service and assistance with Zoom for anyone needing it. A list of exhibitors is on the show website.

“This year’s show was originally scheduled for mid-May but we rescheduled for late June hoping the spread of covid-19 would slow down by then,” Harris noted. “Not long after we rescheduled, we learned no special events would be permitted so we went to work on our best ideas for a virtual show.”

Speakers and Seminars Added

A boat show wouldn’t be a show without the traditional daily opportunities for show goers to learn and get inspired by experts. Accordingly, a line-up of clinics and seminars — a hallmark of all NMTA shows including their annual Seattle winter show that boasts an industry record 225 such sessions — is set for Anacortes LIVE.

Hosted by Peter Schrappen, there will be a continuous live speakers forum during show hours that will be kicked-off by Anacortes Mayor Laurie Gere. She will be followed by conversations with boating experts and leaders. A sample of the sessions:

· Waggoner Cruising Guide editor and publisher Mark Bunzel with updates and tips about boating around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands

· Weather guru Bruce Hedrick with the weather forecast for July for boaters planning their summer cruising

· Tom Nelson of The Outdoor Line on 710 ESPN with the outlook for fishing, shrimping and crabbing this year

· Brian Krantz of Inside Passage Yacht Sales with boat buying tips

“We know many people are looking for pandemic-safe summer escapes and dealers are seeing an increase in people wanting to get into boating or upgrade their existing boat,” says Harris, “so we’re incredibly excited to offer this live interactive online chance so buyers can easily shop for a wide range of boats all in one place. After all, that Has always been the power of boats shows.”

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