There is immense opportunity for boat shows to play a pivotal role in facilitating the boater’s journey, and cultivating relationships with new and loyal customers. Now, more than ever, as consumer demand softens coming off two near-record sales years, the industry must look for opportunities to engage directly with, and keep boating top of mind for, the hundreds of thousands of new boaters who recently entered the market.
This is why the timing couldn’t be better to unite Discover Boating and boat shows in 2023, reimagining what it means to connect our industry with customers while leveraging these events to grow boating and nurture the next generation of boaters.
Our plan to integrate Discover Boating with boat shows will allow us to connect consumers seamlessly with boating, better and louder than ever — all under one brand, year-round. The three-phase Discover Boating brand evolution, which began with a refreshed logo and the 2022 Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show, followed by this year’s “See You Out Here” marketing campaign, and now the full integration of boat shows, helps Discover Boating stay relevant and provides an effective pathway to engage consumers.
As we further introduce the Discover Boating brand to show attendees, expect to see all-new creative assets, from logos and advertising to on-site signage. You’ll also see a larger digital presence and opportunities for exhibitors, as well as enhanced amenities and boating activations to elevate the consumer experience.
Powered by Discover Boating, there has never been a more opportune time for manufacturers and dealers to revisit their traditional boat show models and explore new ways to showcase their brands.
A few ideas to consider: Invest in building long-term equity by selling “the dream,” incorporating a design center, or offering incentives for placing an order; highlight innovation and customization; explain the benefits of preordering, and bring the dream to life with displays, calendars, a lounge and education; humanize your brand and create personal connections with attendees; become the go-to boating expert for new customers; make the bells and whistles stand out with a hyper-focus on all the elements of boats on display that new boaters may not understand; advance your consumer relationship management systems and present the core values of your organization, promoting your retail, parts and service centers.
As the National Marine Manufacturers Association boat shows transition, we are continuing our long-standing relationship with Progressive Insurance as the official partner of Discover Boating boat shows. This partnership will shape certain aspects of the attendee experience and continue to expand our reach to Progressive’s millions of customers.
The Discover Boating boat show schedule for 2023 includes:
• Discover Boating Nashville Boat Show, Jan. 5-8
• Discover Boating Chicago Boat Show, Jan. 11-15
• Discover Boating Atlanta Boat Show, Jan. 12-15
• Discover Boating Minneapolis Boat Show, Jan. 19-22
• Discover Boating Louisville, Boat, RV & Sportshow, Jan. 25-29
• Discover Boating New York Boat Show, Jan. 25-29
• Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show, Feb. 15-19
• Discover Boating New England Boat Show, Feb. 15-19
• Discover Boating Atlantic City, Boat Show, March 1-5
• Discover Boating Northwest Sportshow, March 9-12
• Discover Boating Norwalk Boat Show, Sept. 21-24
In addition to the NMMA’s boat show investment in Discover Boating, the brand plans to work with other industry-produced boat shows, and organize new boating events and more, to engage potential, new and existing boaters. Visit discoverboating.com/boatshows for details about every 2023 Discover Boating boat show and other boat shows that will be held throughout the country.
There’s a lot of exciting work underway to make the upcoming boat show season a success for the industry and engaging for consumers. We can’t wait to officially welcome you to the Discover Boating boat shows. We look forward to seeing you.
Jennifer Thompson is senior vice president of boat and sport shows for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
This article was originally published in the November 2022 issue.