Closing the Gap

Something has been missing in the boating industry.
What that is may be best illustrated by how often we hear about IMTEC. While the trade show has been extinct for eight years, it seems there’s more longing for it now than ever before.
No one on Boating Industry’s editorial team attended the International Marine Trade Exhibition and Conference during its 40-year run. But after hearing so much about it post-mortem, we’ve been trying to identify the gaps left unfilled in its wake. Certainly, the business that was conducted there now takes place at dealer meetings, IBEX, MAATS, IMBC and other trade events. Attempts to put on an IMTEC-like show (remember Boating Week?) without the orders and the displays have failed.
So what is it that the industry really yearns for? It seems to boil down to the human connection. At its height, the show was the fifth- largest trade show in the United States, holding its own against events held by much larger groups. It was what Thom Dammrich called “a central rallying point for the whole industry” — and the size and diversity of its offerings made people proud to belong to it.
More than that, it was a “can’t-miss” opportunity for young and old, newcomers and veterans across an incredibly diverse business to come together and learn from each other. While there’s no doubt the show’s main purpose was to give and take orders, its value went far beyond that. It was about pushing past the boundaries of your circle of business partners to form new relationships and gather new ideas from thousands of other professionals.
It’s ironic that, despite the loss of IMTEC, the industry has better relationships today than ever in its history. Dealer/manufacturer agreements are more balanced. The jump in 20 Group participation and the health of our many niche trade shows demonstrate that industry members are increasingly looking to each other to learn, improve and grow. And the Grow Boating campaign has given the industry a feeling of collective pride it has never had before. And while there still may be challenges ahead, we’re confident they can be overcome.
In fact, we want to be a part of solving them. That’s why the Boating Industry editorial team is so passionate about its mission, which can be summed up in three simple phrases: Trusted Source. Proven Solutions. Real Results. We’re not here to just report on what happens in the industry, but rather to share solutions, highlight innovative strategies and provide best practices from which we can all profit.
Our industry is embracing change like never before, and our team is uniquely suited to help it reach its aggressive goals for growth and improvement. By gathering and sharing expert insights with you, our reader, our team strives to be a key driver in the growth of this industry, serving as your trusted source for proven solutions that deliver real results.

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