Boat Shows Reimagined: Tips for Elevating the Experience in 2022

As the recreational boating industry looks to engage and retain the record number of new boaters who entered the market amid the pandemic, now is the time for manufacturers to work more closely with dealers and begin planning what their investment will look like in boat shows in the coming year and beyond. As boat shows return across the country including NMMA’s full lineup of events kicking off with the Progressive Insurance Norwalk Boat Show in September, there’s no better avenue right now to continue sales momentum; showcase product in a reimagined way to stand out from the competition; and elevate your overall show plan and space to keep customers coming back for decades.

Here are a few tips to evolve the traditional boat show model:

  • Utilize customer boats for display, dedicate inventory that can move region-to-region. With boat inventories at all-time lows due to heightened demand, work with dealers on the local level to find new ways to showcase product and your brand’s new innovations.
  • Invest in building long-term equity. Sell the “dream” with displays, calendars, a lounge and education; incorporate a design center; or offer incentives for placing an order.
  • Highlight innovation and customization and explain the benefits of preordering.
  • Humanize your brand and create personal connections with attendees, become the go-to boating expert for new customers.
  • Make the bells and whistles stand out. Hyper-focus on all the elements of the boats on display. Showcase those features to consumers who might not be as familiar with the brand.

For questions about NMMA’s 2022 boat shows, to invest in shows on a national or local level, and ideas for the 2022 show season, contact Jennifer Thompson at jthompson@nmma.org.

Click here to access the full boat show calendar on DiscoverBoating.com.