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NMMA: First winter shows conclude with strong sales despite down attendance

By National Marine Manufacturers Association

Sunday marked the conclusion of a four-show weekend in Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago and Kansas City. Despite some uncontrollable elements, all shows reported strong sales, leads and qualified attendees.
 
The Progressive Insurance Atlanta Boat Show saw a final attendance of 28,860, which is down 5 percent compared to 2018, however is up nearly 11 percent from the three year average of 26,047. In addition to positive reports of sales and quality leads, Atlanta hosted its first-ever Boating Career Day with Lanier Technical College on Friday, which was well received by students and exhibitors, plus other highlights included Boats & Brews, an event on Thursday and Friday night offering $5 tickets, $5 valet and $5 drinks with Red Hare Brewing Company and local CBS TV station sent its very own reporters out to read nautical stories to kids, also taking in book donations for charity.
 
The Progressive Insurance Nashville Boat Show, saw an attendance of 15,701, down 1 percent from 2018, but up 5 percent from the three year average of 14,927. Amid positive reports of strong sales and leads, the Show also offered an extensive lineup of features including Twiggy, the waterskiing Squirrel, the first-ever Super Thursday featuring rising country music star Walker Hayes, plus $5 admissions after 5 p.m., $5 draft beers and deals on boats and product, plus an array of features for families including the new Discover-a-Boat tour and create your own crankbait for kids. All media broadcast stations covered the show and it ran across online and print as well, with the top local paper, The Tennessean, putting the Show on the front page. 
 
The Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show saw final attendance at 42,895 down 12 percent from 2018  due to heavy snowfall in the area Saturday afternoon. Despite weather, there was positive feedback and reports of strong leads, sales and quality crowds. New this year was the Chicago Maritime Arts Center Build-A-Boat experience, the remote control sailing pond and an interactive experience for seafood lovers with Oyster Bah’s head chef, Donny Farrell doing oyster shucking demos and tastings on Saturday afternoon.
 
The Progressive Insurance Kansas City Boat Show saw a final attendance of 11,049, which is 43 percent down compared to 2018. With a strong start on Thursday up 27 percent over last year, news reports of snow coupled with Saturday’s Chiefs game heavily impacted Show attendance. However, despite the circumstances there were reports of sales and quality attendees. New this year was the famous DockDogs Competition and Progressive Boat Club’s interactive VR boat race game and seminars and the remote control docking pond, which were well received by attendees.
 
Five shows take place next weekend, with the Progressive Insurance Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow (Jan. 23-27), the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show (Jan. 23-27), the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show (Jan. 23-27), the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo (Jan. 24-27) and the Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show (Jan. 24-27). 

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