The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has announced the creation of the Annual Progressive Insurance Chicago In-Water Boat Show, bringing the organization's number of shows to 18. The outdoor show will be held at the new 31st St. Harbor in Chicago, IL from June 7 to 10 inclusive.
"The brand new 31st St. Marina, which has just opened up with 1,000 slips, is the perfect site for a show,' says Ben Wold, NMMA's Executive Vice President. "There has been a back log of heavy demand for slips in Michigan and along the Chicago lakefront. We've been looking for an opportunity to produce an in-water show in downtown Chicago and now fortunately the facility to produce it exists. It'll be a tight run – we only have three months – but we're on the street now with our sales material and the reaction has been very strong.'
The show is set to feature approximately 150 power and sailboats on display and more than 100 accessory, technology and travel booths. There are also plans for educational attractions and complimentary boat rides.
Wold explains that in the past NMMA's in-water shows have been held closer to the fall but dealers were looking for a spring show. "In talking with the leading dealers they said they wanted a show in spring because they wanted to develop leads and sell with all that boating season still ahead,' says Wold. "This event will allow our dealers to follow up with the success they've had at the Chicago McCormick Place and Strictly Sail shows (both held in January) with an in-water show that will have a different personality. June in Chicago is a good time of year for weather. The key is what the dealers want.'
One key advantage Wold says the new show will have is attracting dealers with boats that were too large to display at the winter indoor shows because of transportation costs. He believes the convenience of being able to bring in the boats by water will attract more cruisers in the 40- to 60-foot range. "If you're looking for a large boat in this region, this will be the place for it,' he adds.
Wold also believes the 31st St. Harbor's facilities will appeal to exhibitors. "From a show producer's perspective it's great,' he says. "You have good land capabilities for boats on trailers and accessories adjacent to where your slips are for bigger boats. Inside the breakwater there's a nice big open area of water right next to the launch ramp. In addition, we're going to have a Discover Boating dock where consumers can go out and enjoy on-water opportunities.'
NMMA's Chicago show team will produce and manage the Chicago In-Water show.
Admission tickets to the event will sell for $10 for adults 16 years of age or older.
For more information visit www.chicagoinwaterboatshow.com