MDS Brand Blog

9 Boat Show Promotion Ideas

Posted by MDS Brand

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Boating is a luxury which makes boat shows quite the big deal, and marketing it can be a costly endeavor. A recovering economy means that boat manufacturers are working extra hard to capture the attention of their customers and prospects. As long as there are lakes, oceans, and seas, boats will be here to stay. This article is aimed at highlighting several boat show promotional ideas.

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA: A boat show requires a ton of planning. All that effort should be seen by as many folks as possible. In this day and age where even pets have social media accounts, a lot more people rely on the same to connect with friends and family, as well as keep up with what’s going on. Boat manufacturers and dealers can use this avenue as a marketing tool to create awareness about their boat shows. By creating a social media event, you and your team can gauge the attendance and make appropriate adjustments.

  2. PERSONAL PHONE CALL: Calling your customers to personally invite them will mean more to them than if they see the event posted somewhere publicly. Not to discredit mass advertising of your show, but to someone who has already made a purchase with you or is seriously considering a purchase in the future, taking the time to call and invite them could inspire loyalty and even solidify a future sale.

  3. CALL CAMPAIGN: Similar to calling a customer personally, a call campaign can reach hundreds of your customers with the same conviction of an individual personal invite. This is the most efficient way to invite your customers via phone. If executed correctly, each phone call will be a personal invitation to your show with the added benefits of reaching a much higher client base and gathering individual information on what each of those customers are looking for or expecting out of the show.

    Free: Listen to a Call Campaign recording here.

  4. RADIO SHOWS: Radio shows are an effective marketing strategy and especially with boat show events or similar events. The prospective clients get to hear firsthand the explicit details about the products offered and the nature of the event. The more information that is put out there, the greater the interest aroused translating to a larger crowd.

  5. MAGAZINE/NEWSPAPER ADS: Magazines and newspapers are the traditional marketing outlet. As old-school as it sounds, these ads are quite effective at promoting events like a boat show. Magazines and newspapers feature flashy imagery and headlines that evoke curiosity. It also gives the opportunity to market specific products that will be available at the show, sparking interest in those who have waiting for the right deal to present itself.

  6. EMAIL MARKETING: Email marketing is tried and true. Inform your clients about your boat show and offer a friendly suggestion to tell a friend or two. It is wise to send out a few different emails on the subject; one to inform your customers and prospects of the event, one to remind them that the show is coming up soon, and maybe one in the middle somewhere featuring either a main event (VIP/grand unveiling) or the location’s spectacular credentials, especially if offsite.

  7. DIRECT MAIL: Receiving a personal invite in the mail will make a customer feel special and thought of. This can go a long way in terms of drawing an audience, especially if you have a booth at a city-wide show, encouraging the customer to visit you specifically. Another less considered factor is that a mail invite is something tangible that can be hung, say, on the refrigerator for their friends and family to see.

  8. VISIT OTHER BOAT SHOWS: Visiting other boat shows offers invaluable insight on what works for others and what doesn’t. Another advantage to visiting boat shows is that you meet new people with interests in boating. The interaction can bring out what the clients expect from a boat show, and more.

  9. OFFER SOMETHING THE COMPETION DOESN’T HAVE: Repetition can bore a crowd that is naturally adventure seeking, such as the boating, fishing, and water sport community. Offer something they haven’t seen before; new technology, exclusive products, etc. This will create a buzz and people will flock to your boat show or booth to see it.

There are many outlets to showcase your upcoming boat show. Some of them may have been used before and either served the cause or didn’t. The demographics of your location may have quite a bit to do with the success of a particular marketing outlet, but to discover which work it is wise to test them all as to extend your viewer reach and prevent missing a potentially vital crowd of folks interested in what your show has to offer.

Below is a recording of how we invite people to shows via call campaign. 

Listen to a sample call recording


Topics: Event Marketing, Boat Dealerships, Marketing Tips & Tricks