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Your boater education input is needed now

The education task force that is part of the Recreational Boating Leadership Council is seeking input from dealers on boater education.

If you will take just a few minutes now to complete the task force survey, you can help members as they craft recommendations and programs for the future.

Click here to help now by filling out the survey.

Specifically, the task force is examining the role boater education plays — or can play — in attracting new boaters, not to mention identifying advantages in keeping existing customers. Ultimately, this task force is on course to develop education initiatives that can attract more new boaters.

You’ll recall that the Recreational Boating Leadership Council was created during the industry’s third Growth Summit in December 2012. Some 30 participants in the council met for five hours last week during the American Boating Congress. In addition to the education task force, five other task force groups reviewed their various efforts. All have a similar goal: to increase overall boating participation, focus on luring younger boaters and make entry-level boating more affordable.

For example, the youth task force has been assembling the first national data base of youth boating programs from around the country. According to George Harris, youth task force chairman and president of the Northwest Marine Trade Association, current plans call for launching the data base with 500 program listings on the industry’s Discover Boating website beginning May 9.

National Boating & Fishing Week

There’s still time to be creative and plan a sales promotion at your dealership for National Boating & Fishing Week, which is slated for June 1-8.

How about calling your team together over a pizza lunch and brainstorming some special events or activities to hold in celebration of the week? Here are some idea starters:

• Special sale price(s) on select fishing boat(s). Perhaps a different boat each day.

• Fishing seminar(s) by local pros on select evenings or the weekend. Fishing rod giveaways for attending. Door prize drawing(s).

• Service department special(s) offered during the week.

• Select accessories on sale in celebration of National Boating & Fishing Week.

• Give customers something extra – a baker’s dozen; and extra gallon of gas; BOGO of something, etc.

• Have a “How To” clinic(s) or visiting expert(s).

• Hold a “Name Your Charity Sale” with a list of local charities that customers can designate a percentage (say 5 percent or 10 percent) of their purchase of certain items to the charity.

• Have some refreshments or pastries or popcorn, etc., daily.

• Conduct a blood drive one day in your parking lot with your local Red Cross Blood Bank.

• Have National Boating & Fishing Week signs on all boats in the showroom. If you haven’t changed to painted ads on your front windows, National Boating & Fishing Week is a good reason to do it now.

Capitalize on the National Boating & Fishing Week theme this year. Use your email, website and customer lists to promote your specials. Make this National Boating & Fishing Week a winner for your team, your customers and your sales.

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