In Atlanta, the downturn in attendance can be attributed to the fact that the city made a last minute decision to give all convention center parking to the Atlanta Falcons for their home playoff game on Saturday afternoon. Because of this, the parking rates were increased from $10 to $35. Attendance was up 16% going into Saturday, however Saturday attendance was down 46%. A strong rebound on Sunday (up 48%) helped but overall attendance was still impacted. Reports from dealers on sales were very positive pointing to strong sales and good leads.
Some exhibitor quotes from Atlanta:
“Great show. We sold a lot of boats in all categories. We sold Chaparral, Moomba and pontoons. Sunday was definitely ski boat day!” said Kurt Backs, Atlanta Marine.
“We saw steady traffic all weekend. I had a great Sunday and we sold a lot of boats. You guys do a great job,” said Eric Williams, Holiday Harbor.
“We are really happy to have brought a sailboat into the show this year! We actually sold a couple of Hobies, too. I look forward to putting a few more Hobies in the show next year,” said Brent Troncalli, The Outside World.
“This was one of the best shows I’ve ever had! There was steady traffic all day Sunday, one of the best days I’ve had ever had at a boat show,” said Michael Adair, Adairco Dock Ladders.
The Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show also had a very successful weekend. With consistent attendance over the last three years, the show has grown to over 600 boats and almost 100 RVs! Reports from exhibitors talked of strong sales, great crowds and promising leads!
Some exhibitor quotes from Chicago:
“Customers specifically came to see us and our product for the face-to-face interaction. We picked up a great dealer as well,” said Bob Everhard, e Marine.
“Having a presence in the show helped us break into the market. Our retail is up and our consumer response far and away exceeded our expectations coming into the show,” said Andy Ingarra, BRP.
“One of the best Saturday’s we’ve ever had!” said Betsey Avrai, Skipper Buds.
“This was our best show in a decade! Great traffic, quality customers, the buyers are out!” said Mark Felhofr, Bay Marine.
“We talked to a lot of qualified people and that was our main objective.” said Bill Burr, Spurs Marine.
“Positive show with really good traffic. Talked to many quality active sailors,” said Fred Hutchison, P.Y.I.
“Nice way to start the year. We talked to many strong prospects and also sold units,” said Rich Bosma, Timberview RV.
“A lot of quality customers and serious interest at this show,” said Kent Kafer, Pontiac RV.
“The amount of business that comes out of this show is incredible, “said Bill Jones, Raymarine.
“A lot of consumer confidence and excitement in product and the sport of boating in Chicago. We met many first time boaters and lake home owners. This show far exceeded our expectations!” said Mary Jo Munson, Munson Ski & Marine.
“Wow! We haven’t had a show like this since ’07. Fiberglass is back. Now we know the year is going to be a good one,” said Craig Munson, Munson Marine.
“This was our first time at this show and it’s the friendliest show we’ve ever been to. Very positive mood and great vibe. We made a lot of contacts and picked up a dealer as well,” said Hardy Peters, Topaz Sailboats.