The National Marine Trades Council has announced the dates and location for its 2018 annual meeting, while the National Marine Manufacturers Association reports a four-show winning weekend.
Newport, R.I., has been selected as the site for the NMTC meeting, May 16-18 at the Cambria Newport hotel. The NMTC meeting is open to all leaders from local, state and national marine trades associations.
Melissa Danko, NMTC chairperson and executive director of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, noted the meeting will be hosted by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, and coordinated by RIMTA’s executive director, Wendy Mackie.
“We’re finalizing the meeting content now, which will include wide-ranging discussions of issues related to boat show production and management; administering association membership programs and benefits; and presentations by several special guest speakers,” said Danko.
Among this year’s speakers are: Scott Jensen, director for workforce development for Rhode Island and formerly the secretary of labor of Maryland, focusing on demand-driven training and industry partnerships.
Also speaking will be Dennis Nixon, director of Rhode Island Sea Grant, addressing current plans for the fiberglass boat recycling initiative, concerns about offshore windfarm developments and related topics.
Other presentations will include: Evan Smith, president of Discover Newport, who will highlight the partnership opportunities that exist between the hospitality and marine industries; and Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport, the group hosting the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover taking place during the NMTC meeting, including a special custom experience for meeting attendees at the Volvo Village.
Finally, it’s anticipated that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., will be a special guest at an evening NMTC clambake event.
If you are in leadership in a marine trade association, I can guarantee you from my personal experience that you’ll find the NMTC meeting a unique forum where counterparts from around the country openly share ideas and programs that are working successfully in their areas.
“We had four highly successful shows this weekend and boats are selling,” said NMMA’s fired-up president, Thom Dammrich. Some are saying it feels like the early 2000s again. And, why shouldn’t it? Michael Katz, senior investment Advisor at Wells Fargo, said in his weekend report: “The fundamental environment is as good as it gets.”
These shows follow what’s happening at shows round the country. Here’s a quick look at last weekend’s four NMMA events, all sponsored by Progressive Insurance:
The Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoors Expo (four days) at Schaumberg, Ill., experienced an attendance increase of 4 percent as more than 20,000 visitors passed through the gates. Sales reports from exhibitors including boat dealers, tackle booths, fishing charters and travel lodges were all reported strong.
The Louisville Boat, RV and Sportshow (five days) saw attendance top the 40,000 mark for the first time since 2008 with 41,431 attendees, up a solid 11 percent over a year ago. Again, exhibitors reported strong sales and anticipated follow up.
In the Big Apple, the New York Boat Show (five days) was off 2 percent, with 42,419 attendees, but was up 4 percent from its three-year average. Notably, the show hosted more than 100 high school students for a successful Career Day. Industry volunteers, including Joan Maxwell of Regulator and Larry Russo of MarineMax, talked to the students about good careers in the boating industry.
Finally, the Baltimore Boat Show (four days) went all out, presenting visitors with the exciting look of a new floor plan that accommodated a fleet of over 300 new boats. In addition, a “Super Thursday” promotion powered the opening day’s attendance up 46 percent and resulted in reports of some excellent opening day sales. Overall, attendance was up 8 percent to 13,817.