NY show attendance on par with last year

NEW YORK – While they don’t like it, New York National Boat Show exhibitors have “gotten used to” a change in booking policy at the Jacob K. Javits Center over the past five years that has resulted in less than ideal show dates during the holiday season, according to Michael Duffy, show manager.

But they haven’t given up, he added in a phone interview this morning. Organizers are holding a New York State Legislative Reception at the show tomorrow in hopes of meeting many of the new legislators, introducing them to the industry and gaining their support for a change in policy.

Sales hard to gauge so far

Meanwhile, overall attendance at the show, which runs Dec. 30 to Jan. 7, seems about the same as last year, though attendance on Saturday and Sunday was up about 6 percent.

Duffy reported that organizers moved the Discover Boating Center into the lobby of the Javits Center and decreased special event space, which resulted in more exhibitors than last year and the expansion of a few existing exhibitors’ booth space.

It’s difficult to gauge boat show sales only three days into the show because the bulk typically are generated during the last weekend of the show, he explained. But this year’s numbers may be more accurate than in the past.

Organizers have started a two-pronged program in an effort to better gather these sales numbers – one in which boat buyers at the show receive a $50 gift certificate and entry into a $5000 drawing for bringing their bill of sale to the show office and one in which dealers get one entry for each reported boat sold into a daily drawing for $200 in cash.

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