St Pete Boat Show 2017 (pt1)

Howdy everyone!

If there’s anything that I know, I know for a fact I am so glad that I waited for my first boat show set up to be with my TBYM guys. Yes, you read right. After all the boat shows I’ve gone to and the years I’ve been in this industry, I have never ever set up nor helped with tear down (which I’ll get to experience that part on Sunday).

Wednesday after our normal work day, we went over and started setting up. Tables, chairs, brochures, biz cards, cooler full of drinks, our credidentials, etc. Since we had two locations (outside&inside), we’d go back and fourth. This is our GMS boat where we demo the Seakeeper product.

Set up is literally just like when in my theatre world  we have to tear down the set at our rehearsal spot and put it back up at our normal theatre space. It’s exactly that. So, of course, I enjoy that enough that I’m ready for more!

THURSDAY–which is normally burrito day at Tijuana Flats (haha)–was the first day at the show. I was so happy (and still that way, although a little more tired).

I walked around so many times trying to get leads for them, photos spread among 3 sources, and anything that’d spark my interest for BSG.

We are giving away a Yeti cooler and so is our neighboring booth and a few others. I should do some sort of article on popular items to give away. The only one will be a cooler… that’s how… COOL it is. Yeah.

Thursday was an interesting day. Friday just sparked the flame. I’ve officially talked to more people than I’ve ever talked to (well, actually, that’s kinda a lie) but I feel so… established and purposeful the last two days. So thank you my guys at TBYM for helping me gain traction once again, and for putting me back on the path of passion for this industry and boat shows. (Thank goodness I am working with a group of guys who enjoy the shows! It helps.)

I was so happy to see older family – IMG – who are the dealers for this beautiful Formula boat that you see there.

For a while I lost my touch (and passion) but I’ve got it back. Guess how? Because I start taking pictures of the names of the boat. If you’re going to be a hobo, just be the best kind. A salty one.

I found Jimmy Buffett. There isn’t anything better than finding Jimmy at a boat show. Ahhh. I just love that man and his lyrics. (Have any of you bought his latest cd?)

I found this gem. A crab tattoo. Amazing. Yeah, I’m pretty much 5 but I don’t really care what you say about me. This (and looking at crab jewelry) only made me miss Eisenhower so very much, so here’s his photo when he saw I was home for more than five seconds yesterday.

I’m really in love with that boat mostly because of its colors…and how royal purple it is. But seriously, I want to learn all about this boat on Sunday.

I have to mention – please go friend my friends at Great Lakes Boating Mag (especially their Instagram) because they are featuring my photos and probably some video come Sunday. I’m super excited to be working with them as their source from my land to theirs.

It’s been a long, weird and what I call a successful day… I must post this before I crash (I’m already there, I hope this blog entry makes sense) and have to wake up super early for theatre duties. I will have the rest of the boat show dirt on Sunday or Monday.

See some of my goods?!

That’s it for now! – KM the BSG

Tampa Boat Show 2017 

Aloha Everyone! 

AT LAST the Tampa Show—that was postponed in September due to Hurricane Irma—finally happened this past weekend.

This show—which is definitely one of my favorites—is held in either Sept or Oct of every year at the Tampa Convention Center. Tickets are usually in the range of $12-15, I think it’s $12 if you order online. (I’m not sure because I’ve only had badges from working the show.) They have event pay for parking around the center and elsewhere. www.tampaboatshow.com

Let me tell you… I had an amazing time. It’s been several shows ago since I went inside any of the boats (because there was a time I was able to attend about 12 boat shows a year and toured all of the boats that I could) but after a tiny break, I went in a few this time. I smelt the new boat smell, day dreamt about my future boat, reminisced about looking out the windows of bunkbeds at night in my younger days when I’d stay on a houseboat… and I really truly think I got my passion back. Or at least dug up some of that old buried treasure and raised my anchor above the water so my heart could open back up.

 Me!

 Perfect writing station for me!

 This as well!

I saw my current work family. I saw my old work family. I saw my old work family’s sister company which is ultimately family. I saw some other friends that were working booths there. I just saw a lot of family… and it made me so happy. This boat show made me so happy, and was exactly what I needed.

 My current company Tampa Bay Yacht Management with their other company Gulf Marine Stabilizers doing SeaKeeper demos.

I don’t know if any of you were following the “I’M LOGAN IT” project boat aka “FISH TACOS” from Ship Shape TV and Taco Metals. They were there with the boat and people could register to win the boat. The winner will be announced at the Fort Lauderdale Show in November. (Is it necessary to say I think this boat is meant to be mine? Because I already want tacos every.single.day so seeing this makes me hungry for… tacos^2! It’s a serious math problem! Ha.) But, in boating terms, this is a lovely, lovely boat. I saw some of the videos of where each of the brands (who have their logo on the boat) contributed their product to fix it up. Such a great thing they’re doing too for the IM LOGAN IT foundation.

Another cool thing that the Tampa Boat Show decided to do was a “Boater’s Pass” where everyone who had it could scan their barcode and win prizes and such. I didn’t really see how it worked, since I didn’t have one, but I’d be curious on how well it went. Bueller? 

They had their normal things: Discover Boating and their classes out on the water, seminars, family fun day, the Buccaneers stopped by on Sat, Progressive’s set up for kids, Geico’s boat, etc. I saw a lot of familiar faces, and somehow, I still missed some company’s booths. I don’t know how it happens but it does. Also, I think everyone needs a boat with a bar type in it. What do you think?

And here are a few photos from the poetic side of me…. This photo spoke to me because of all the different reflections that just seemed like a perfect boat art opportunity.

I didn’t really realize this until later that day, but following my favorite day of this year Oct Fri 13th was the 14th–a death anniversary of a great teacher friend of mine from high school. This next photo I took reminds me so much of the quote she once said to me. “When you look through the window, you don’t see the whole world.” But… every time I’m on a boat and look out the window there, I see my entire future–my dreams coming true–and that is my whole world. I really miss you Elaine!

That concludes this episode with Boat Show Girl attending the Tampa Boat Show. It was a more relaxed year for me at this one, usually I talk to a whole lot more people, but I just kind of took in not having attended a show in a while and really enjoyed myself. I guess even I need to do that once in a while.

Over the next few weeks and maybe months, I will be “pivoting” and what that means in the business world is that when one business step / project / plan doesn’t work, you pivot, meaning change it. So I am going to be making little changes here and there to make me–Boat Show Girl–exactly what I need to be.

For I am–after all–the Captain at the helm of my own life where compasses and maps do not exist because sometimes the beauty is drifting, getting lost and dropping anchor into the unknown. 

Always,
Karen Maeby the Boat Show Girl

BoatShowGirl returned to IBEX in 2017.

Going to IBEX this year was a little different. Last year, and the previous years, I kind of felt like I didn’t belong because I wasn’t a “professional” per se, but this year…I personally felt a little different, and accomplished a few personal goals.

So I ran into Volvo, and asked them what they planned on doing with Seven Marine. They will be keeping both brands separate, so when we got to boat shows, nothing’ll change. Which is good. There was mention of keeping up the improvement of the brand. And, I even threw in a little advice to the guy I was talking to… don’t screw up my favorite brand. Haha!

I met Dana from SureShade and I really enjoyed seeing one of my favorite products in action. They also handed out the best gift baggie which included: a mouse pad, a pen, a keychain, sunglasses rope thing, etc.

I caught up with someone I chatted with last year, but no update about the results of statements yet.

I talked to several people about what I–as BSG–want to do and one person seemed really interested in my idea and I think really truly got what I was wanting to do. I haven’t sent the follow up email yet, but I will for sure.

Anne and I got to chat for a moment outside at the IBEX opening party. This was the first time I got to stay for that, and I spent time with my friend Graham from Canada, his dad and Mike from Tampa’s very own Freedom Boat Club. It was a good time. {Needless to say, Anne’s advice on continuing to do this Boat Show Girl thing has really lit more fire under me. I need to do this, and I need to do this well.}

I’m a little bit clearer now on what I need to be doing. I would like to be a recruiter person for the marine industry schools. I think if I got a chance to help the students decide where they’d like to be, and explore their interests in the industry, it would help me personally (where I never know what direction I’m going because I like to do so many things) as well as fulfilling that earlier desire of being like a teacher but without all of the schooling.

Education is a huge part of who I am — especially the literature part. I want to know people’s stories and why they love the water so much and what brings them to it.

I definitely want to be recognized as a writer, which I have lapsed on very badly, and I do apologize for that. I am, however, taking a writing class at my theatre and it’s really helping to inspire me to write about things I fell short on passion. So it’s coming back.

I know that I want to find those couple of brands (maybe ONE or TWO unlike companies in each area) to help promote and become a brand ambassador for….

Since I am raising a hermit crab, it is really important to me for the love of all animals, especially sea animals. I would love to do something with that in honor of my baby E.

And, last but not least, I want to be someone who helps change this industry for the better and get recognized for an upcoming under 40… before it’s too late.

I know I have had many, many set backs this year. It’s been the worst year I’ve ever had, but I am most determined to never look back at that but look forward, move on, and become a better me for you — every day.

Moving forward, NO DAY BUT TODAY in the world of BoatShowGirl. 

Until next time, always ~ Karen Maeby

Miami International Boat Show 2017

I pretty much lost Thursday as a day to be at the show, so I completely made up for it by having such a blast on Friday.

My friend, Graham, that owns a marine biz in Canada came and picked me up and we parked by Bayshore. I remembered that place from my very first boat show which was Miami five years ago. We stood in line for the water taxi to take us to the main place of action. THIS was our water taxi and the view. Un.Real. {Huge yacht}

  
  A very happy me!

I hit the accessories tent first to see one of the guys I work with. He was there with LiveWireTackle. They revealed their new product–lure corks.

Next I got to see my pal with OliverBoat. I had been talking to him for quite some time and finally met him. He is looking for dealers, so if you’re interested, contact him!

After quickly walking around and looking at what there was to see, I slowed down and took time to look. I have to explain that since all things creative such as: marketing, art, visual merchandising from my retail years, and literature are a big part of my life—looking at the creative stuff is something I’m always going to do. I looked at a lot of the company’s visual displays and here are a few of my favorites:

 SeaRay

 Striper

 GradyWhite

 Mercury w/ their new campaign ‘Go Boldly’

 Mako

 Kohler ‘Always present never noticed’ — that was just poetic.

But, I never noticed magic and love until I saw Seven Marine’s booth. They are my favorite by far.

There was a quote up on the screen that said, “The moment you want to slow down is the moment you want to accelerate.” Wow. I know they’re talking about engines and speed on a boat, but POETRY MOMENT with a lightbulb! It’s totally about LIFE too because… water IS life, and when you conclude that, the moment you want to give up…is the moment you should continue because you are that much closer to the dream.

Next: “If you can dream it, you can do it!” – quote as pictured.

I love Seven Marine simply for the poetic touch they add to their dreamy products.

Before I left work on Friday I came across ShipShapeTVs newest project and watched a few videos of it. I found the boat out front of the tents. It is called Fish Taco.

This is a pano shot of everything on the water:

I got to meet Rusty from World of Boating — finally — and we had a good chat! Then, as we headed back on a much smaller more intimate water taxi that night, it ended up Rusty was sitting right behind us so we got to chat more!

I saw our Monterey Rep and talked to him for a bit. I unfortunately didn’t get to see anyone else or go to the other site. I wish Thursday wasn’t such a bust. I really need more than just one day at this show. If I go next year–or prepare for Lauderdale–I’m going to have to do some things differently.

This is my write up so far. I’ve seen so much in the last few days that I wanted to at least recollect on what’s most important then go back and reflect on details, especially after I’ve looked through the boat lit that I brought back with me.

My experience this year was different than last year — best memory I’m taking home with me would be actually meeting several people at the show and then the water taxi ride. (Shameful–I haven’t been on a boat in ages and I work in the industry.) And this show is completely different than 5 years ago when I went to Miami for the first time. It’s unbelievable how much closer I am to getting BoatShowGirl really out there, and it all started with falling in love with boat shows. Who knew.

EDIT:

Oops. Forgot some important things. LOTS and LOTS of people were at the show. The line for busses and water taxis were NOT as bad as last year, so it seems they did improve that. Instead, all of the people were in line at the food stands and it took a while to get food. Bathrooms were not bad with lines–that seemed controlled. Overall, it seemed so much better organized than last year and truthfully I didn’t really have any complaints from last year.. even though I noticed a few things that could have been improved.

The Theatrical Art of Boat Shows

For my BoatShowGirl readers, there’s one thing that you should know: my life is split into two–the marine industry and all of the arts. Tonight I helped out at the front desk with auditions for our next upcoming play, and upon leaving those auditions, something donned on me. Boat Shows are purely an art form set up in theatre mode. It’s not that I didn’t already know, but I just didn’t know how to put it into words until tonight. Then, it all made sense.

I mean seriously though, think about it.

What do you need in a play?
{writing} Time. Location. Character Description. Plot.
{acting} Talent. Practice. Stage design. Props.
{performances} Audience.

The time and location is when the boat show event is going on.

The web presence online or in paper form explains your character description prior to the boat show.

The plot is selling boats or our merchandise, making new connections, and having new experiences.

We–the industry employees–are the talent.

Doing your job every day at your normal job site is the practice you need to prepare for the show.

The stage design is how you set up your booth visually.

The props are what you’d bring to sell (boats/merch), marketing material and freebies.

And, your customers are what would be the audience.

When a customer walks into your booth they are instantly reading your story. When you interact with that customer you will learn their story. It is pure dialogue–an exchange of words–and the entire experience can be written into an art form of some sorts. And, when it’s all over, there’s the last celebratory dinner before going home (the cast party) not to mention to mentally prepare for the next boat show (when you go to auditions once again)