Attendance up at NMMA boat shows

CHICAGO – Attendance at the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2006 consumer boat shows was up 7 percent over the previous year’s figures, it reported in a recent statement.

Several factors contributed to the rise in attendance across the 23 boat shows, including the creation of unique boat show advertisements, increased interactive marketing efforts and strong support from public relations activities, according to the association.

“Exhibitors from our 2006 winter season frequently commented on the high quality buying crowds and the fact they were not only seeing new faces but selling to these new people as well,” said Ben Wold, NMMA executive vice president.

“We can’t overlook the fact that there are obviously economic conditions impacting the increase to some extent; however, we believe the combination of a number of solid marketing initiatives helped spur attendance by this high-quality buying crowd,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich.

Marketing initiatives that helped boost attendance range from Internet marketing and grassroots activities, to new advertising and strong public relations efforts, stated NMMA. New, award-winning boat show advertising contributed to the attendance increase, notes Wold. Every market in which NMMA’s “Captain” ad ran, boat show attendance increased by double digits.

In addition, public relations generated overwhelming media coverage, reaching an all-time high of more than 600 million impressions nationwide. Nearly every television station, newspaper, magazine and website within each boat show market covered that market’s show, according to NMMA.

Moving forward in 2007, Wold said these boat show marketing initiatives will not only increase, but be improved upon.

“One plan is to send every hot prospect generated through two free tickets to the upcoming boat show in their area. That’s somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 people who will receive tickets,” he explained.

NMMA is also developing all new boat show creative advertising for the 2007 show season.

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