MAATS exhibitors and buyers report healthy business

CHICAGO – The 2007 Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show, held July 18 to 20, attracted 1,950 attendees to the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel & Convention Center, organizers said in a press release today. This represents a slight decrease in attendance from the previous year. The National Marine Manufacturers Association owns and produces MAATS.

This year, 319 exhibitors and 391 qualified buyers attended MAATS. There were also 247 international participants representing 27 different countries on hand for the event.

“While the 2007 numbers are somewhat down from 2006, which proved to be the show’s best year to date, we did receive a large amount of positive feedback from both exhibitors and buyers regarding the quality of the event, including the productiveness of the pre-scheduled Buyer-Supplier Meetings and the quality of new products displayed on the show floor,” said Kathleen Clickett, MAATS show manager.

For the second consecutive year, a silent auction took place during the opening night welcome reception July 17, with all proceeds collected going to benefit the industry’s Grow Boating Initiative. The auction was a big hit, raising more than $9,700 for the effort. Various industry supporters donated more than 60 items for the auction, including iPods, digital cameras, gift card packages, boating and fishing trips, lobsters from Maine, boating/watersports products and more.

The 2007 MAATS New Product Preview Breakfasts attracted nearly 100 buyers and marine media members each day. There were 24 presentations over the three-day event. New Product Previews allow exhibitors to give a five-minute presentation describing their Innovation and Environmental award entries to a crowd of invited buyers and media.

This year’s show also featured the revamped New Product Showcase, a designated area of the exhibit hall situated in the middle of the MAATS show floor. All 50 products entered in the Innovation Awards program were on display at this location, which allowed attendees hands-on access to the products. This area was originally enhanced in 2006, and continued to be a popular destination point for media and buyers throughout the event.

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