Two Strictly Sail shows see slight drops in attendance

CHICAGO – Despite slight drop-offs in attendance during the 2008 installments of Strictly Sail Chicago and Strictly Sail Miami, exhibitors at both shows report plentiful crowds and eager buyers in their respective markets, organizers reported in a release this week.

Visitors from throughout the Chicago and Midwest region visited Strictly Sail Chicago, with total attendance of 18,123, which was close to last year’s gate of 18,523.

Strictly Sail Miami drew a larger audience, with a total of 22,556 attendees. That figure is down just three percent from 2007, when a total attendance of 23,327 was recorded.

The annual Chicago sail show, held Jan. 31 – Feb. 3 at Navy Pier, showcased more than 150 sailboats, hundreds of sailing-specific accessory booths and more than 200 educational seminars, the largest number offered in the show’s history.

“Strictly Sail Chicago and Miami were both tremendous successes from an exhibitor perspective, as a variety of show participants noted a considerable number of leads and strong sales as a result of this years’ events,” said Kevin Murphy, show manager for Strictly Sail Chicago and Strictly Sail Miami. “Positive exhibitor feedback and sales results are encouraging, as the industry looks to the winter boat show season as an economic indicator for participation and sales during the upcoming warmer months.”

Next year’s Strictly Sail Chicago will be held Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2009, at Navy Pier, while Strictly Sail Miami takes place Feb. 12-16, 2009, at Bayside’s Miamarina.

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