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The Fort Lauderdale Show and Exclusive Sales Event exceed goals

by MarineMax 5 Nov 2020 10:45 PST
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show © MarineMax

If you ask anyone about how the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show went, you'll hear a lot of the same story. Attendance was down, quality of traffic was up, extreme temperatures and masks made for a tiresome experience. Still, the show promoter did an excellent job providing a safe environment, and sales were comparable to last year.

Chuck Cashman, MarineMax Chief Revenue Officer, comments, "We went into the show with realistic expectations and a plan that set us up for success. We knew attendance would be down, but true boaters and serious buyers showed up. We've seen this trend before. Doubling attendance doesn't necessarily double sales, and sometimes it's harder to find the right buyers in a sea of prospects. We had fewer staff at the show too, and they worked extremely hard to provide the best experience in not the best circumstances. It's hard to form meaningful relationships with people when a mask and sunglasses cover them up. It's like the world series of poker trying to form relationships with potential buyers."

With less people and more serious buyers, you didn't hear much about the election or Covid. Attendees were focused on the boats, the boating lifestyle, and making the most of their time at the show. MarineMax brands including Sea Ray, Aviara, Boston Whaler, Galeon, Azimut, Scout, Benetti, Grady-White, MJM, and Ocean Alexander were in attendance. A typical product mix for almost any show and no segment exceptionally soft of stronger than the others. The outboard fish boat market and runabout market were strong, and MarineMax sprinkled in some big yachts sales, including several Azimut Yachts over 100-feet.

Cashman continues, "When approaching a boat show, any show, we never count on show attendance alone. The show is only a point in the journey. With almost 80 stores nationwide and receptive customers concerned about travel and safety, we wanted to offer an alternative to get boat show deals. We saw a tremendous response from our digital efforts, which helped exceed the goals we set for the Fort Lauderdale show. And our exceptional digital marketing efforts drove traffic to all MarineMax locations to support the event for those who did not attend in person."

MarineMax ran an "Exclusive Sales Event," in conjunction with the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The online experience provided an exceptional opportunity for customers to participate in the boat show from anywhere in the country. In addition to boat show savings and incentives, online shoppers browsed hundreds of boats and yachts for sale, engaged with virtual one-on-one walkthroughs, chatted online to get answers quickly, and placed a deposit online to secure a boat from their local MarineMax store. Customers took advantage of both the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and the Exclusive Sales Event to find the boat of the dreams.

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