The first two big boat shows of the season reported mixed results as weather impacted attendance.
The Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show, which ran January 1-5, saw attendance down 12 percent from 2013.
Kicking off on New Year’s Day, the boat show started off strong, with some exhibitors seeing more than 40 percent of their show sales on opening day. However, the early January start and severe snowstorm that hit New York on Thursday night, followed by bad weather throughout the weekend hindered attendance, the National Marine Manufacturers Association said.
Some comments from exhibitors:
- “It was a very well attended show, and we saw quality attendees here to buy.” — Mike Gravenese, Post Marine Supply.
- “New Year’s Day was fantastic, and we couldn’t be happier.” — Steve Pieratt, Monterey Boats.
- “It was a great show for us with solid traffic. We gained some leads with strong interest.” — Chris Lufkin, Edgewater Boats.
NMMA and the industry are excited to return to later winter dates next year, January 21-25, 2015, when the show returns to its traditional timeframe of mid-late January, with dates locked in for the next five years.
“For many boating enthusiasts and their families, the historical start date of the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show in mid- to late- January has become a much-anticipated tradition – an early peek at spring and summer outdoor recreation, as well as a primary sales venue for local boating businesses,” said Ben Wold, executive vice president, NMMA. “We’re happy to hear that the 2014 show generated some business and an early boost for the industry, and are optimistic that the nation’s oldest boat show will build momentum in the years ahead.”
The Progressive Insurance Atlanta Boat Show wrapped up on Sunday, with attendance up 25 percent from 2013, making it the best attended Atlanta Boat Show since 2008.
“This year we had the highest attendance in six years and are thrilled the show produced heavy traffic and more importantly, buyers to our exhibitors. We hope the boat show results are a positive sign for Georgia boating and the industry,” said show manager, Larry Berryman.
Exhibitors also reported positive outcomes, citing great weekend traffic, heavy sales and solid leads:
- “Sales are up, customers have a positive outlook and the year is already off to a great start.” — John Pack, Wahoo Docks.
- “The quality of attendees was amazing. Saturday’s attendance was incredible and we are really pleased with the results of the show.” — Scott Cunningham, Singleton Marine Group.
- "We had record sales at this year’s show and we doubled what we sold last year.” — Rob Broadfoot, Bum Float.