NMMA reports Tampa Boat Show attendance increase

The Progressive Insurance Tampa Boat Show, produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), wrapped up Sunday, Oct. 15, with a final attendance of 18,561, up 12 percent from 2015, the last time the show was held during October.

The show dates were moved to October from their traditional September dates due to an abundance of caution surrounding Hurricane Irma. Initial reports out of the show were of strong sales and quality crowds.

This year’s show was also the test site for NMMA’s new boat and sport show lead generation and consumer engagement platform, Boater Pass, which saw success among attendees and exhibitors.

“We had a successful show despite the change in dates, with a 12 percent increase in attendance comparative to other shows held in October,” said Kevin Murphy, show manager, Progressive Insurance Tampa Boat Show. “We heard from many exhibitors that the weekend was full of quality crowds filled with serious buyers.”

Feedback from exhibitors was positive, with many reporting strong sales and quality attendees.

“We had a fantastic show—there was great traffic all three days, said Steve Wacker, Thunder Marine. “We were thrilled that the crowds came out even after the date change due to the Hurricane and as a result of the buying crowd the show attracted and NMMA’s new Boater Pass, we’re confident we’ll close several more deals after the show.”

New this year, NMMA partnered with FISH Technologies to launch the Boater Pass program. Boater Pass is a lead generation and consumer engagement platform that attendees register for onsite, online or by downloading the My Boater Pass app.

By registering for their Boater Pass, attendees are able to collect information on products and exhibitors throughout the show, scan at instant win prize towers, and share their information quickly by having their Boater Pass scanned by an exhibitor.

“We were able to leverage the Boater Pass program to provide us and our exhibitors’ rich insights into our show attendees while at the same time giving the consumer an improved and gamified show experience,” said Jennifer Thompson, vice president of consumer and trade events for NMMA. ”The Boater Pass program allows us to better track consumer behavior, understand attendees’ expressed and inferred interests, and then use that knowledge in real-time to marry buyers with our exhibitors—all while providing our exhibitors a new way to engage and qualify leads.”

Exhibitors using the Engage App from FISH Technologies had the ability to scan an attendee’s Boater Pass QR code and instantly know their contact details, boat ownership status, intent to purchase and more. They were then able to save those leads and add their own notes for follow-up—all with a simple easy-to-use app.

“The Boater Pass program is a game changer for the industry and the future of boat shows,” said Steve Heese, president of Chris-Craft. “In Tampa, our team was able to quickly qualify leads, making the time spent at the show more efficient for us and for our prospective customers, resulting in a great show for our dealers.”

NMMA and FISH Technologies have entered into an agreement to bring the Boater Pass program to the upcoming Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show.

For more information on Boater Pass and how to get onboard for the upcoming Miami show, contact Jennifer Thompson at jthompson@nmma.org or Mike Gilvar with FISH Technologies at mgilvar@fishisdata.com.

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