MAATS sets exhibitor, buyer records

CHICAGO – The Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show saw a record number of exhibitors (368) during the July 20-22 event at the Las Vegas Hilton and Convention Center, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which produces the show, reported recently.

Among the attendees were 455 buyers, a record number for MAATS; and 17 percent more than there were at the 2004 show. The majority participated in more than 1,300 buyer-supplier meetings during the three-day event.

“Gander Mountain successfully expanded its marine assortment in 2005 and expects to grow that business further in 2006,” said Robbie Smith with Gander Mountain. “Participating in MAATS as a hosted buyer was an ideal platform for working directly with vendors as we prepare for our 2006 season. The experience was terrific.”

MAATS continued its co-location with the National Marine Distributors Association’s S.T.E.P. Purchasing conference, making the dual events more convenient for attending buyers, who held an additional 866 purchasing meetings at S.T.E.P.
MAATS has also co-located with the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades for 2005-2006. Registered attendees for both MAATS and ICAST were allowed free admittance to either show on the final day of the two events on July 22, adding to the 2,391 attendees that were recorded at MAATS.

“The co-location with ICAST was a big hit with attendees at both shows,” said MAATS manager Kathleen Clickett. “There were a number of buyers that attend ICAST every year that came to MAATS for the first time this year, and many of the buyers attending MAATS expressed their interest in continuing the co-location with ICAST, so that they can make one trip to see the hundreds of new products introduced by boat and angling accessory manufacturers each year.”

MAATS and ICAST both return to the Las Vegas Hilton & Convention Center July 19-21, 2006.

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