NMMA talks future of boat shows

With peak boating season upon us and live events returning in full force, NMMA is planning for the return of our entire show lineup in September. The boat show experience is unparalleled, providing both a strong sales venue and a powerful marketing engine for the boating industry. With significant pent up demand for live events and heightened demand for boating, elevating the boat show experience will be especially important as the industry looks to engage and retain the record number of new boaters who entered the market amid the pandemic.

Understanding there may be inventory challenges in the months ahead, show organizers and exhibitors will need to explore new ways to showcase the variety of boat types, brands and marine products the industry has to offer, and immerse, educate and engage attendees in the boating lifestyle.

“There’s tremendous opportunity for boat shows to play a pivotal role in facilitating the boater’s journey and retaining the millions of American boaters who take to the water each year. We can’t wait to welcome back the industry and attendees to NMMA shows, and bring in the next generation of boaters who have recently entered the market–the future of our industry,” said Jennifer Thompson, NMMA’s senior vice president of boat and sport shows. “We’re well underway planning on ways to modernize NMMA boat shows with a focus on education, community participation, exhibitor engagement and the overall boat show experience, from onsite to digital.”

NMMA boat show exhibitors, stakeholders and visitors can expect to see:

  • More show amenities, from live entertainment to food and beverage
  • Enhanced digital show guide featuring product listings and search capabilities
  • Increased educational programs to retain new and experienced boaters
  • Expanded community involvement
  • Comprehensive measures to ensure safe events for all involved

Understanding consumer shopping behavior is shifting, boat shows are increasingly taking a hybrid approach to bring together the in-person experience and digital offerings, and engaging show attendees well before, and long after, the event to assist them on their journey as a boater.

“Integrating Discover Boating with boat shows allows us to connect consumers seamlessly with boating, better and louder than ever – all under one brand, and year-round,” noted Thompson.

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The Discover Boating brand integration will begin phasing into 2022 NMMA winter boat shows. Access the full calendar here. Learn more about Discover Boating’s integration with NMMA boat shows here.

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