Fort Lauderdale show meets expectations

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Expectations for a record year at the 44th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show seem to be right on, as Kaye Pearson of show producer Show Management, shared positive reflections from the show with Boating Industry this morning.

Pearson told Boating Industry earlier this week that sales and attendance were expected to be up dramatically from last year. This morning Pearson said that show attendance was up everyday and that preliminary numbers for the show indicate a 10 – 11 percent increase in attendance from last year, based on ticket sales at the gate.

“I’m sure our total attendance will be up significantly,” added Pearson.

In addition, it looks as though Pearson’s predictions that this year’s show would break records in attendance, sales and economic impact will come true. Pearson said that from looking at early sales reports, the show is going break all sales and total economic impact records, with numbers over $600 million.

“It was a very strong show in terms of sales,” said Pearson.

“The electricity was there,” said Frank Herhold, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which owns the show. “I didn’t talk to any dealers who weren’t selling something.”

Herhold said for some dealers, the business conducted during the Fort Lauderdale show makes up 25 to 45 percent of their annual sales. In fact, he said one dealer told him that 75 percent of his contacts come from the show.

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