Boat Show Season
Question: Its almost boat show season around the country! I like attending the show in our area. However, sometimes I am overwhelmed with all the things to see. Since you go to many events, any advice on what is the best way to get the most out of a boat show.
Answer: Boy, that is a wide open question. First you have to ask yourself why you are attending a boat show (or any show for that matter). Are you attending as new buyer looking for a new boat? On the other hand, are you attending as an owner looking to upgrade what you already have or just add on to your equipment? Maybe you are a manufacturer or dealer…. that is a completely different reason.
My situation is even different from that. I am looking for new products, new boats and new companies. I am interested in anything that might be of interest to my customers and readers. I like to keep up with the industry and review new products or boats. I am also looking for things I want for myself. I also look for shows that will allow me to give seminars and promote my books.
Of course, I am always looking for a location that I like to visit. I like the local shows but that is not the same as taking a trip to a distant location and using it like a working vacation. (Just don’t tell my wife how much fun these shows are!)
One of my favorite shows is the Miami International Boat Show in February (2/14/2019 – 2/18/2019). Look up their schedules at www.miamiboatshow.com.
While I no longer give seminars at the Miami Show it is still a huge show with more things than you can see in a couple days. Plus its Miami, a great place for boats, food and cigars.
That said, it is probably best to decide why you are at the show and establish an agenda for the time you will be attending. Reviewing or looking at a boat can take a significant amount of time. Plan your time accordingly. In most cases you will want to look over the boat, listen to the sales pitch and, if possible, try it out on the water.
Because it will be a time consuming experience, do a little research ahead of time. Review models and manufacturers that you have an interest in, on the manufacturers website or at a local dealer. Go to the website for the show or event you will be attending and get a copy of the exhibitors list. Review the exhibitor list and rank the manufacturers or dealers by your interest. It sounds like a lot of work but if you prioritize the models you want to see, you can spend less time wandering the exhibits and more time shopping. You will also find that you will probably have more time to leisurely enjoy the show once you have achieved your “requirements”.
If you are looking at products or upgrades to your existing boat, it is a variation of the same agenda. Look through the exhibitor lists and develop a plan and route through the exhibit area. It is also important to keep track of other things that might be of interested as you are looking at the exhibitor list or walking around. You can always come back to a booth or visit the company’s website later (or back in your hotel room!).
Its a great experience even if you arent shopping for anything in particular.