NY show attendance up 14 percent

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Organizers of the 94th annual New York National Boat Show have reported a 14-percent increase in attendance, due largely to a bigger and better marketing effort this year. Sales, however, were reported to be mixed.

This increase has occurred despite what many considered worse dates this year than last year and one fewer show day. This year’s show took place Saturday, December 27 through Sunday, January 4, and was closed on New Year’s Eve.

Last year, which was the first year the show lost its traditional dates in mid-January, the show took place Saturday, December 28 through Sunday, January 5, and experienced a 26-percent decline in attendance.

Show director Michael Duffy said in an interview today that the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which produces the show, hired a new media buying agency in 2003, which helped organizers better direct their funds toward targeting their core demographic. This included increasing the frequency and reach of their TV and radio advertising. In addition, NMMA spent more money on marketing the show this year.

Next year, the NY show dates are scheduled to be better than either of the past two shows, though still not ideal, according to Duffy. He said he expects the show, which is scheduled for January 1-9, to attract more buyers, as many who used to attend the show have been out of town for the holidays during the past two shows.

Meanwhile, show producers continue to lobby for better dates, according to Duffy. NMMA has plans to meet with Javits Center executives to discuss the future dates of the show on January 21.

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