> Powerboat-World.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Newsletters FishingBoating Features Photo Gallery Sail-World Australia Australian Cruising
MarineBusiness-World

 

Sail-World.com : Do boat shows sell boats?

Do boat shows sell boats?

'2009 Sanctuary Cove Boat Show'    Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show    Click Here to view large photo

Do boat shows sell boats? I guess that’s a question many boat retailers and their customers often ask themselves.

It’s certainly a question that comes up often, particularly during boat shows.

During my recent visit to the Miami International Boat Show, I came across what I felt were some valuable comments on the matter from two men well-placed to offer an opinion on the subject.

They were Ron Hein, Executive Vice President of Michigan-based Foresight Research and Mike Mraz, recognised as a trade show strategist and educator.

Both men made some highly interesting points; Hein believes there is one answer to the question and declares it is a 'resounding yes.'

Mraz comes on even stronger; 'There’s nothing like a boat show to help sell boats,' he says.

As Ron Hein points out, ever year millions of power boaters, sailors and anglers, together with their friends and families flock to boat shows around the world.

'These people are not just out for a good time,' he says, 'their fun is mixed with a serious and generous helping of shopping to find the boat that is right for them.

'They usually mean business and that means business for boat, motor and accessory manufacturers and their dealers,' he adds.

As Hein says, manufacturers and dealers invest considerable time, effort and money into producing their boat show displays, manning their exhibits, giving demonstrations, conducting seminars and the like.

'Back at company headquarters, the skeptics may well be asking, 'Do boat shows really help sell boats?' Hein says.

'I believe boat shows remain one of the best marketing investments available.

'I’ve been researching buyer behaviour for nearly 25-years and when I was brand manager for a large automobile company, I pored over data focused on the intentions of new buyers, advertising reach and frequency, product exposure and Internet traffic.

'I discovered a problem in that each communication form had different metrics.

'So, next time around we went directly to the source, new buyers who had just completed the shopping and purchase process and we used the same scale to measure the influence of each form of communication,' he explained.

The Sea Isle Marina, major destination for the in-water displays during the Miami International Boat Show. All-day shuttle buses link the marina with the other show sites. -  Timothy McAfee   Click Here to view large photo


One source Hein called on was the 2010 US Boating Industry Marketing Communications Influence Study, the result of a survey of 3295 new boat buyers.

These buyers purchased their vessels over an 18-month period that ended in August, 2010.

The survey revealed some interesting numbers.

It showed that 50 percent of boat show visitors actually boarded a boat during their visit and that 60 percent of repeat buyers and 40 percent of first-time buyers made their purchase at the show.

The survey also revealed that 57 percent of all those who purchased a boat had attended at least one boat show in the 12 months leading to their acquisition of their boat.

Other survey results showed that 61 percent of boat buyers made up their mind about which boat to buy while attending a show and that an astonishing 95 percent visited the display of the brand they ultimately purchased.

Ron Hein said 14 different means of communication were measured, including three that are not necessarily marketing channels, but are influential, in prior brand experience, word of mouth recommendation and seen-on-the-water.

'Recent buyers easily recalled in great detail what they did, whom they spoke to, what websites they visited and what made a given communication channel highly influential to them,' he said.

'Here are some of those findings;

• For people who attended, boat shows had the most influence on their decision to buy a boat (57%) versus their experience at a dealership (54%) and the Internet (47%).

• Boat shows are the only marketing channel allowing prospective buyers to compare prices, brand and models side by side and to board the boats, two of the most important influences on boat buyers.

• Buyers said boat shows had the most influence during the consideration phase of the purchase process, when they often discovered brands they may not previously have known of.

• Among buyers who attended a boat show, 70 percent purchased their boat within three months of their visit.

• Nearly six on every 10 new boat buyers attended at least one boat show in the 12 months prior to their actual purchase.

• Nearly 20% of new boat buyers first met their eventual dealer at a boat show.

The independent study was funded by a group of industry organisations, led by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, Michigan Boating Industries Association, Southern California Marine Association, Boating Trades Association of Houston, Southwest Florida Marine Industry Association and Show Management, Inc.

'For those exhibitors looking for more than just a good hunch, the study offers rock solid evidence that investing in boat shows provides a powerful return on that investment,' Ron Hein added.

Comments from Mike Mraz solidly backed Ron Hein’s belief.

Mraz actually pointed out what he called ‘the true cost of not exhibiting’.

'Admittedly, exhibiting at boat shows can take a fairly big bite out of an exhibitors cash flow and the temptation to cancel the commitment and not exhibit can be strong,' he says.

'However, here are a few things to think about as you ponder your marketing budget.

'Buyers do go to boat shows and I’m living proof as I recently made a boat-buying decision as a result of meeting a representative at a boat show.

'Think about it, it’s winter, when boat shows are usually held, I’m in a centre surrounded by the toys of summer, I forget it’s cold outside and know that summer will eventually arrive.

'If you’re in the business of selling boats and related products, where else would you want to be but in the midst of hundreds of people with a passion for what you sell?

'Sure, the competition will be there, but if you had chosen to pull your marketing head into your shell, there’s no guarantee the competition will follow suit.

'If I was your competitor and found out you weren’t going to exhibit, I’d pump up the volume on my own presence.

'Face it, as far as the market is concerned, if you’re not at a boat show, you don’t exist,' Mike declared.

Sydney International Boat Show -  Jeni Bone  
As he explained, a manufacturer or dealer knows what it costs to attract someone into their showroom.

'Take that cost and multiply it by the number of prospects you could meet at a boat show and you’ll have a pretty goo idea of what it will cost to replace boat show connections with showroom activity,' he said.

'Of course, the next logical step is to move those boat show connections into your place of business, right?

'Well, it’s kind of hard to meet me if you’re not even there!

'Just remember, there’s nothing like a boat show,' he said.

Of course to add balance to this discussion, the survey on the importance of boat shows, was done with boaters who visited boat shows. (you'd expect they felt boat shows were important, or they would be elsewhere.)

Of the people who made boat purchases the Internet is plainly the research tool of choice prior to a Dealership or Show visit. Dealer Principal's world-wide are finding that their sales staff have to work hard to be ahead of a very well informed potential buyer group.

As one leading Dealer commented 'In the old days, boaters came in with a vague idea of what they wanted and we were able to influence their decision making to a large degree, now they will call us, with a cut and dried specification and are shopping on price. The Internet is having a very strong effect on the market place.'




by Bob Wonders

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.powerboat-world.com/index.cfm?nid=81668

7:36 AM Thu 24 Mar 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Power Boat News



























Yamaha inspires students to succeed by Yamaha Motor Australia,








Swan celebrates sales success *Feature by Jeni Bone,




Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science by Mahlon C. Kennicutt II and colleagues,


Stealth i14 out of China by Neil Patchett,


























Pacific Boating membership offers hassle-free boating *Feature
Marine15 expands trade, networking and B2B opportunities *Feature
2014 Auckland on the Water Boatshow - Huge prize packs up for grabs
4X4 Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo wows water lovers
John Wilson has sights set on second P1 SuperStock title
Torquay Grand Prix - Pertemps tops table on penultimate day
Plain sailing for yachts with river cargo ship ban in Shanghai
Dangerous conditions for boaters from this afternoon
Sydney Int'l Boat Show - Stellar results for Multihull Solutions
NSW Environment Minister awards 'Fish Friendly' Marina Accreditations
Refurbished Protector project 'better than buying new'
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - High-Diver Steve Black is back
4x4 Outdoors Show, Fishing and Boating Expo - Campfire cooking corner
See the heat with FLIR ONE *Feature
John Temple to retire, Will Sangster appointed General Manager
Multihull Central launches Aquila range at SIBS *Feature
If all else fails read the instructions!!
If all else fails read the instructions!!
Sun shines on recreational boating at Sydney International Boat Show
Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature
2014 Offshore Superboat Championships - The boats are back!   
Sydney International Boat Show - Days 3 & 4 *Feature   
Kirby Marine launch 13metre Naiad Tender   
Shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay to be rejuvenated   
2014 Brisbane Boat Show - What's your trailer boat worth?   
Custom exhaust system solves buoyancy problem   
Sydney International Boat Show - Day 2 *Feature   
Marine Rescue volunteers celebrate new unit and $120,000 vessel   
Sydney International Boat Show - images from Day 1 *Feature   
Pantaenius Insurance - being seen in yellow, green and orange *Feature   
Sydney International Boat Show begins!   
Sydney International Boat Show - Changed conditions on Sydney Harbour   
Fraser Island annual fishing closure starts August 1   
Mildura boaters reminded Murray River will be low until mid August   
Gold Coast Broadwater no closer to welcoming supermaxis *Feature   
Sydney International Boat Show - all systems go!   
UK superyacht industry on the rise   
EOMAP modelling shows what's under our water   
Great Barrier Reef in a bad state, and getting worse   
Gold Coast International Marine Expo - Organisers add extra sites   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png   http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR PBW
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT