Miami & Strictly Sail Show, reports steady sales

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today reported steady sales among exhibitors at the 67th Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail, despite a decrease in attendance from the prior year.

Attendance at the 2008 show, which completed a five-day run, Feb. 14-18, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center and Miamarina at Bayside, was 128,018, a seven percent decrease from the 137,175 visitors reported at the 2007 exhibition.

“A rain storm that began Sunday and ran through the final day of the Show, kept would-be visitors at bay, contributing to the overall decrease in attendance,” said Cathy Rick-Joule, vice president of Southern Shows for NMMA.

“However, the first three days of the Show saw an increase in attendance, up one percent over 2007, with exhibitors reporting strong sales from qualified prospects who came from all corners of the globe to view and buy the latest models, What’s more, despite the current state of the economy, we heard a lot of positive feedback from exhibitors and attendees reinforcing our belief that the Miami Show will continue to be a launching pad for the newest innovations in the recreational marine industry, and will be an important barometer for boat sales throughout the year.”

Jon Viestenz, product manager and regional sales manager with Cruisers Yachts, added, “The quality of the buyers in Miami was impressive. Overall sales at the Miami show are typically 8 percent; this year we were close to 30 percent. Besides meeting with our repeat customers, we were pleased to see new buyers from Venezuela, Greece, Italy and Spain.”

Cathy Cole, sales administrator with Bluewater Yachts, said, “The Miami show is an important sales tool for our company, because it draws an international audience of prospective buyers. Our exhibits at the 2007 show were very busy, and we noticed more qualified prospects compared to 2007.”

According to Chuck Cashman, senior vice president and district manager for Florida-East with MarineMax, “Each of our brands is well represented in Miami compared to other shows across the country. Although sales were soft this year, we noticed an increase in foreign prospects and good sales overall.”

Strictly Sail, the sail-only portion of the Miami International Boat Show reported similar results. According to Kevin Murphy, show manager for Strictly Sail Miami, “Strictly Sail shows have become a resource for learning and fun, putting ‘edutainment’ at the forefront of our planning.

This year, Strictly Sail Miami showcased a wider variety of sailboats and sailing gear, for sailors of every ability and budget.” Ted Norris, product sales manager with Hunter Marine Corp., said, “Qualified buyers came to see our boats, and we have several sales leads that we plan to follow up on after the show. This year was much better for us as compared to the previous year.”

According to Martin Krooshof, sales representative with Southeastern Power Products, “The show was a great networking event for us. We were able to connect with several dealers and further our goal of opening dealerships in new markets, including Key West, Fla. “

Oakley Jones III, Northeast sales representative with Harken Yacht Equipment, agreed, “We had some good conversations with potential buyers at the show and are hopeful that these buyers will turn into solid sales in the next few months.”

The 68th Miami International Boat Show is set for Feb.12-16, 2009. For show information, call (954) 441-3220 or visit www.miamiboatshow.com.

About Miami International Boat Show
The Miami International Boat Show, a member of the prestigious International Federation of Boat Show Organizers, is produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the world’s largest producer of boat shows.

NMMA is the leading association representing the $39.5 billion per year recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers in the U.S. For more information about the NMMA, visit www.NMMA.org. For more information about the Miami International Boat Show, call (954) 441-3220 or visit www.miamiboatshow.com.

About Strictly Sail Miami
Strictly Sail Miami is produced by Sail America, the sailing industry trade association, in cooperation with NMMA. For more information about Strictly Sail Miami, call Sail America at (800) 817-SAIL or visit www.strictlysail.com.
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