Analyze your results

Back in 2003, Utah Water Sports (Ranked 67 in 2006) had a “great looking” booth for its big boat show, but the results of the show were dismal at best.

“We got zero sales,” says Wayne Sorensen, owner. “This was a first for us, and I decided that it would never happen again.”

After learning that the company’s main competitor had had a good show, a little analysis helped Sorensen determine that the flow of the show floor may have hindered sales.

“People were looking at our product and then going to his,” he explains. “Many were unwilling to walk back to the other end of the large hall to look at our product again.”

So the next year, the company moved its booth right next to its main competitor and out-sold him, according to their records, 26-to-7. This year, Utah Water Sports increased its presentation and experienced even more success: 36 boats sold to his competitor’s 12.

The new presentation certainly helped. Utah Water Sports held a pre-boat show open house sale, and then went big with its display. Featuring a replica Rainbow Bridge — to give the feel of local boaters’ favorite destination, Lake Powell — and 2,000 pounds of red sand, the company displayed five boats “pulled up on the beach.” Nine other boats were displayed around the perimeter and if that wasn’t enough to gain attention, the company filled the rest of its 7,500 square feet with four, 42-inch plasma televisions; a 110-inch, dual sided projection screen; four billboard-sized graphics; spotlights on each boat; and a fog machine, among other features.

The boat show success it has created has contributed greatly to the company’s growth. In 2004, the company hit $3.5 million in sales. The next year, it nearly doubled its revenue to $6.7 million. And as of June 30, 2006, it says it already nearly equaled its year-end total for the year prior, registering $6.4 million in sales.

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