Los Angeles Boat Show…The Good, Bad, or Ugly?
If you were one of the limited few who actually made the journey to the Los Angeles International boat show last week then you made the trip based on what you probably remember it as once being.
Not so long ago this was the show the entire West Coast Boat Builders year centered around. It was a place that every performance boat builder could not afford to miss. Sadly for a wide range of reasons, and I must say it is NOT the economy, this venue has shined what one might call maybe its last light on this industry.
While the #1 Power Players of the West Coast performance boating scene were on hand with DCB front and center and CP Performance commanding the largest booth of the accessory section, they were but nearly alone when it came to the rest of the performance boating industry.
While these big brands brought their “A” Game to support the industry, the boat show did little to bring anyone to see what the exhibitors worked and paid so much to be there. In this modern world of multi social media, the efforts made by the LA Boat Show were weak to non-existent. With little to no social media platform they were left to their old and EXPENSIVE ways of some random TV Ad’s, you know the ones where the Mayberry’s use to sit and have dinner at 5pm every evening, to a little radio and a whopping two press releases posted on their website. As a direct measure from Facebook the Los Angeles Boat Show Facebook page has 2879 likes and the Miami Boat Show has over 29,000. A fair comparison? Maybe not, but with the population base of LA compared to Miami we would certainly expect a much better number for LA. We know better than anyone that the methods that worked 10 years ago do nothing more than pull in a age demographic equivalent to a retirement home who are hardly the customer for a new sport or performance boat.
But we can’t just blame the boat show for everything or can we? Lets face it they have had the same old senior management staff to run this thing all the way to the bottom. You see they made an attempt and that’s more than the combined group of West Coast Boat Builders did. With such little representation of the boats we love and desire one could only think that this market place had drifted off into the sunset. Thank GOD DCB took the effort and expense to do what everyone else should have done and that’s get your product out in front of the public and show them front and center your products worth owning.
So while the Miami Show set new records in attendance and vendors participation,YES BOAT BUILDERS, as well as built a stunning new venue for the East Coast. The West Coast brought practically no support from the boat builders of today in a venue that finished serving its purpose ten years ago. The show reported an 11 percent gain which frankly by our count was merely 11 people more maybe?
Our dreams? Build a show in a destination that people literally enjoy going to. Combine an atmosphere that shows the attendee that boating is more than just a boat, it’s a social experience of family and friends. If they do this it will kick the power boat builders in the butt to get engaged and show us their products and why we should own them.
NEWS FLASH: There might be hope as today they announced the show has sold and Duncan McIntosh Acquires San Diego and Los Angeles Shows. Along with the acquisition came the exit of the tired old staff lead. There may still be a ember of hope out there.