CHICAGO — Strictly Sail Chicago saw a 2-percent drop in total attendance from last year’s show, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which produced the event in conjunction with Sail America. Organizers were pleased with the relatively small decline, and reported good sales and nearly 20,000 attendees.
“Strictly Sail Chicago 2009 was a tremendous success from both an attendance and sales perspective,” said Show Manager Kevin Murphy in a release following the event. “A variety of exhibitors reported they were impressed with the high volume of foot traffic and mentioned this year’s show resulted in the best sales results they’ve seen in recent years.”
The 14th annual show was held Jan. 29 through Feb. 1 at Navy Pier, and it showcased nearly 150 sailboats, hundreds of sailing accessory booths and more than 200 elite sailing educational seminars, according to the NMMA. The organization also noted that in contrast to overall attendance, the event’s popular seminar series increased its attendance by 22 percent from the 2008 show.
“This is the best show we’ve seen in three years. We’ve already sold two boats and have at least a half-dozen solid leads,” said NestEgg Marine’s Jon Kukuk in the NMMA release. “We’re seeing more quality buyers than we ever would have expected this year — it’s definitely going to be a busy week for us when we return to the office.”
The show represents the only all-sail show in the Midwest, the NMMA said, and the largest indoor all-sail show in the country.
Strictly Sail Chicago 2010 is scheduled to take place Jan. 28-31 at Navy Pier.
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