The NMMA said attendance was up 12 percent at the Tampa Boat Show from 2015, the last time the show was held in October, and initial reports were of strong sales and quality crowds.
Total attendance was 18,561 at the Oct. 13-15 show, which was delayed until this month because of caution about Hurricane Irma.
The 2017 show also was the test site for the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s new boat and sport show lead-generation and consumer-engagement platform, Boater Pass, which the NMMA said had success among exhibitors and visitors.
The NMMA partnered with Fish Technologies to launch the Boater Pass program. Visitors register for Boater Pass onsite, online or by downloading the My Boater Pass app.
By registering for a Boater Pass, visitors are able to collect information on products and exhibitors throughout the show, scan at instant-win prize towers and share their information quickly by having their Boater Pass scanned by an exhibitor.
“We were able to leverage the Boater Pass program to provide us and our exhibitors rich insights into our show attendees while at the same time giving the consumer an improved and gamified show experience,” Jennifer Thompson, vice president of consumer and trade events for NMMA, said in a statement.
“The Boater Pass program allows us to better track consumer behavior, understand attendees’ expressed and inferred interests and then use that knowledge in real time to marry buyers with our exhibitors — all while providing our exhibitors a new way to engage and qualify leads,” she added.
Exhibitors using the Engage app from Fish Technologies had the ability to scan a visitor’s Boater Pass QR code and instantly know such things as that person’s contact details, boat ownership status and intent to purchase. They were then able to save those leads and add their own notes for follow-up — all with a simple, easy-to-use app.
“The Boater Pass program is a game changer for the industry and the future of boat shows,” said Steve Heese, president of Chris-Craft. “In Tampa our team was able to quickly qualify leads, making the time spent at the show more efficient for us and for our prospective customers, resulting in a great show for our dealers.”
“We had a fantastic show — there was great traffic all three days,” said Steve Wacker, of Thunder Marine. “We were thrilled that the crowds came out even after the date change due to the hurricane, and as a result of the buying crowd the show attracted and NMMA’s new Boater Pass, we’re confident we’ll close several more deals after the show.”
The NMMA and Fish Technologies have an agreement to bring the Boater Pass program to the Miami International Boat Show. It will be held Feb. 15-19.