Level 5 launches online boat show platform

With in-person boat shows cancelled across North America and dealers searching for ways to generate leads in prime boat sales season, Level 5 Advertising created a virtual boat show platform and connected dealers in multiple markets to help them showcase boating to potential boat buyers.

In both the Cincinnati and Minneapolis markets, dealers reported record-breaking sales to correspond with significantly reduced boat show costs, as Level 5 rolled out its digital show format. The dealers, then, used the online platform to create a push-pull strategy to drive traffic to showrooms, where they offered free parking, free drinks, private appointments and a clean, safe environment to sell boats.

“Working with Level 5’s approach, we decreased our boat show spend by 80 percent, and sales still increased by 31 percent,” explained Matt Lodder of Marine Sales Lodder’s, outside of Cincinnati.

Similarly, in the Minneapolis area, John Wooden of River Valley Marine said this new approach exceeded his expectations: “The Twin Cities Boat Show platform has helped us get off to the best start to a year in our company’s history, and we expect that the leads that this event generated for us will continue to be fruitful throughout the year.”

The L5 strategy was simple, says Mike Alleva, Vice President of Marine Services. 

“We used similar services to what we already provide dealers and applied them to a show format,” he explained. “With our online and in-store combined strategy, we made sure to stay away from the word ‘virtual,’ and we focused on a content is king strategy, with the content being the boats our dealers had for sale.”

Level 5 Advertising created individual boat show websites — CincyBoatShow.com and TwinCitiesBoatShow.com —that listed all the participating dealers and drove traffic there with advertising and promotions on local and connected television, Google, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The dealers decided the dates and created the show environment in their physical locations.

“When we keep the focus on the inventory that the buyer is looking for, and we guide them to the dealership showroom, we all win,” said Todd Wilkins, Chief Business Officer of Level 5 Advertising. “Our goal, in everything we do, is to connect potential buyers to the boat they are looking for and the dealer that sells it. These shows were big wins for our dealers, and we are very excited as an organization.”

Additional digital marine shows continue to launch in the United States.

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