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Chicago and Minneapolis shows report strong sales and leads

By National Marine Manufacturers Association

Last weekend’s Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show wrapped a five-day run with a final attendance of 48,644, up 4 percent from last year’s attendance of 46,670.

Exhibitor feedback was positive on strong sales and crowds, including Saturday, which saw more than 20,000 visitors in attendance.

On Sunday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel toured the show with Show Manager Keith Ogulnick, and met with exhibitors and attendees, before hosting a tourism-focused press conference at the show.

The Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show also closed its four-day run on Jan. 14 with attendance of 34,402, down 5.5% from 36,388 in 2017. 

Dealers reported solid sales and quality leads, despite the show’s attendance being impacted by Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings home playoff game. 

The first-ever Minneapolis Innovation Awards were held last Thursday at the show. The Innovation Awards recognized winners in three product categories: Aluminum Fishing Boats (Impact XS, Lund Boats), Fiberglass Fishing Boats (WX2060, Skeeter Boats), and Pontoon Boats (L-Class, Barletta Boats).

“It is a testament to the importance of the Minneapolis Boat Show to move three categories of the Innovation Awards to Minneapolis,” said Darren Envall, show manager. “Fishing boats and pontoons have a strong presence in this marketplace and the Minneapolis Boat Show is the best place to see the latest technology and innovation in these categories year after year.”

Up next are three shows: the Progressive Insurance Nashville Boat Show, the Progressive Insurance Atlanta Boat Show and the Progressive Insurance Kansas City Boat & Sportshow, all running through Sunday, Jan. 21.

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