Best booth award at Miami Boat Show 2016!

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Photo © Karen Maeby / Boat Show Girl

So… I’ve gotten really good with guessing who Project Runway is going to pick for best and worst.. but automatically picking Grady White as my top favorite and “winner” of all the booths at the Miami Show is like a golden ticket to me.

I am so very pleased to hear that they won an award for best display. Their booth has a feel of Miami (more so than the others, honestly) and I absolutely LOVED how personal it was with the bookshelf of photos, awards and the like.

Great job, guys! When my soul feels it, I definitely want to write a poem about your booth for sure.

Post Miami Boat Show

As always, after any boat show, I am having a withdrawals. The good thing is–there’s always another boat show around the corner and there’s plenty on my list in the next few months.

I’ve read on Soundings/Trade Only, Boating Industry and some other websites that has news pertaining to the marine industry about the Miami show. 99% of the content I’ve read has positive things. The majority of the comments are how great the new location are but there are some things that need to be improved….just like anything else. I even read that the new location brought an increase in attendees. It is looking good for the future of the industry.

Miami Boat Show 2016

As heard on the radio show “World of Boating”– here’s my “7 Eisenhower the Crabs out of 10″ report.

I arrived in Miami around 11 am at the Marlins Park parking garage. There were parking attendants waiting at the entrance to guide and take payment. No cash, only credit card or prepaid (seemed quicker that way). I parked, walked downstairs to the busses and waited in a pretty long line. Since it was the start of the day there were busses already lined up so I didn’t really wait long. It took about 15 minutes to get across town to the show location.

As soon as I got there, I smiled from ear to ear. The layout was beautiful, and that alone pretty much distracted me the whole time.

Tickets / Will Call to the right, entrance to the left. Walk inside and there’s a big “courtyard area” with food, drinks and sitting area. The tents were laid out side by side in a circle and behind them was the boats on the water.

You couldn’t get lost. It was amazing.

With only having a few hours to spare, I quickly went through everything, saw who I needed to see and then went back through the areas one more time. Here’s a list of thoughts.

– The boats inside the tents BROUGHT IT as far as “visual merchandising” went. My favorite was probably Grady White. GW had a display case full of their awards and other little nicknacks. The colors looked very Miami-ish.

– Regal had the most comfortable looking area for customers to sit down, and nice chairs to have meetings.

– I have a new appreciation to boat companies who bring their own merchandise to sell with their logo on it. I love stuff like this. Thank you Everglades.

– Malibu and Mastercraft had on display the sparkly boats. So homage to my being female and loving glitter!

– My favorite free thing that I got (sorry, this has to be added because I love these things, as I rock the company merch all the time): a “Live the dream” rubber bracelet by GlassStream that totally sums up my day, a poster of AXIS boats, 2016 Malibu DVD and Malibu hardcover book.

– Favorite new accessories company Saltwater Syndicate, they have a cool Pirate and anchor logo.

– I also noticed a whole lot more sea trials were happening than usual. This is a good thing!

That’s all I can really report on. I took a look at the boats but I wish I studied them more like I usually do. A few hours at the show is not enough.

The lines for the busses were kind of confusing because there weren’t really any signs, but the attendants took charge and let everyone know where each bus was going. Took longer to get back because of traffic.

While on the bus, I overheard customers of the show talking about what needed to be improved and it was basically just having enough signs or knowing where to go to get back on the busses.

Overall, they did such a great job with Miami especially in what little time they had to throw everything together after finally getting the permission to go ahead with the show. I know that the parking issue will be improved next year, considering.

Ladies at the Helm

This morning I attended Thunder’s program, Ladies at the Helm, which is specifically designed for the ladies who have bought boats from us and need to know the basics and training on how boating works.

Our parts manager, who is also a boater, is the one who teaches the class. In this class he goes over the basics of the water – safety, what’s required on board, how being out on the water works, tying a simple docking knot and so on. Unfortunately, due to the water, we did not get to go out on the boat to practice driving and docking.

In all of my studying about the industry, this is one side of it that I have not really done. I didn’t ignore it on purpose, it was just not a top priority since I do not have a boat and haven’t gone out on the water for a really long time.

I do believe that everyone should be required to take a class like this before venturing out on the water, just in case, because you never know when you need that piece of information that you didn’t remember or never learned on your own or from someone else.

When I’m at the boat shows, I’m always picking up pamphlets of programs that teach boating. One of these days, I will be calling them, and attending these programs as well, and then teaching everyone how important it is to learn as much as you can and also help those who don’t have experience.

Safety first in this beautiful boating lifestyle.