"Even in the down market we're in, boat shows are producing sales," said Ben Wold, executive vice president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. "The results aren't as good as some people would like, but they're better than expected. We're encouraged that will continue. The boat shows are still helping."
Wold said a year-long study released by NMMA and the Recreational Marine Research Center at Michigan State University demonstrates that boat shows are an important step in consumers' decisions to purchase a boat. The MSU study, which surveyed more than 20,000 attendees across all of NMMA's 2008 consumer boat shows, revealed that 55 percent of boat buyers attended a show within six months prior to their purchase. And 65 percent of survey respondents said attending a show increased their desire to buy a boat.
Additional study findings include:
-86 percent said attending a show increased their desire to go boating
-50 percent went to the show with no intention of buying a boat, but became interested once at the show
-15 percent intended to buy a boat at the show
-5 percent bought a boat at the show
-73 percent attended the show to buy accessories
-65 percent will buy products they saw at the show
-47 percent spoke with three to five dealers at the show
-49 percent intend to follow up with a dealer they spoke to at the show
-45 percent have a household income of more than $100,000.