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2015 Ft Lauderdale Boat Show Slow???

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by rmjranch, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    Attended FLBS a couple of years ago as a, to the best approximation, client's personal assistant/adviser. Surprised anyone still goes there, actually :)
    1) Perfect mention earlier in the thread of a "pre-opening VIP day". A shame people outside the industry have no way of knowing that, even when they plan to spend big millions on a boat. So, not a good entry point.
    2) For those past the entry point, as in, with contacts, probably a capitain in sight etc, plus, obviously, the internet, the choice part is just nothing. You get much better care phoning/visiting companies in less busy time.
    Honorable mention goes to nonexistent inside transport. Having to walk the docks past non-target exposition for 20 mins between booths of companies we wanted to see felt quite wasteful.
    3) The sightseeing and "feel it" part - well, it's something, but! Dare I say, very suboptimal organization. Problems to book travel to date and hotel, excessively annoying "push sales" at every corner, exorbitant fees for anything. Guess what, in my experience (maybe just my good luck in clients), even rich people get uncomfortable when they are treated like an open purse shamelessly.

    IDK maybe it feels better shopping for a smaller boat, but I've heard several independent opinions that you should stay away from bargaining there, instead inquiring at slower season - supposedly better bargaining position.

    Oh, and the salt of the earth, "general populace" without many millions to spare? See #3 above, not even sure they feel anyhow welcome.
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    One thing that happens to shows, to Car Shows, to Boat Shows, to RV shows, to Home and Garden shows is that a large portion of attendees only feel the need to go once. The following year they are not thinking there's much different and reason to return. After a few years, they might. They're also surrounded with so many shows. I know people in Rhode Island who occasionally go to the Newport show but don't feel compelled to come here. Those on the West Coast of Florida don't either. In fact, I think many people from Miami have decided their show is enough.

    For some people the show is great. They see boats and compare. They talk to brokers or salesmen. For me, if I could just go and walk by myself, not talk, see what I wanted, I might do that. Still not how I'd buy a boat. It's not the way I'd shop because I'd miss too many boats. The boats I'm considering right now weren't there. Have friends buying boats but they've already been on the models they're buying. Then once I narrow things down with my shopping, my next step is going to that dealer or builder. I don't need to wade through more.

    And I don't believe any of the numbers we hear on how many boats are sold. I've been through that enough. When pressed it turns out to include those who indicated they might buy, those who expressed interest. Then with some, it's just made up numbers. There are too many builders who have reported orders for two to three times the boats they've actually built.

    Now, I do believe it's beneficial for some people who don't have much time outside of the show to look or shop and who don't want to search the internet. For them the "VIP" day is the way to go.

    I think it's as Captain J said, "Honestly I think the show management is getting way too greedy with the ticket prices and boat space prices." If I was a builder, I'd have a couple of boats and a presence as a defensive measure. I would also show something new. But I would not pay the price to show a dozen boats. The other thing I would do is have a show right before or after or during at my facility.

    A good example to me is Ferretti Group showed only one Riva. Why show more? They don't have any new models available to show yet. Everything else has been in the line for years.

    I see it in a way perhaps a convenient space to see lots of used boats. I do not see it as a place to go shop for or buy a new boat.

    I might honestly have enjoyed it this year with smaller crowds. We chose not to be in town. We live within walking distance to the show. It just doesn't pull me in.
  3. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    That would be smart, at least at higher sizes. Client can see the interior work, walk around, basically, you have your "conversation starter". (Or ender, when that work is such as some we've seen.) Then again, the brand that my client ended up ordering from (it's dutch and starts with "f") put it bluntly: $100k (+/-) to dock one of our boats for exposition, we would rather like to pass that saving on to "you".

    Anyways, that kind of a crowd never makes a crowd.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I think many are finding better ways to spend that money.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Obviously the promoters of the show were at a different place than attendees. Per the Sun Sentinel:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-boat-show-wrap-20151109-story.html#

    We have about as much likelihood reading an article about an unsuccessful show as we do reading a bad review of a boat.
  6. bliss

    bliss Senior Member

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    +1
  7. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    That's why I have given up reading them and many of the check book journalism articles that seem to fill most magazines these days
  8. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    YF doesn't write a "bad review" because YF won't do a review on a boat if it's bad. I know of numerous builders and yachts that Carl & I have discussed and if there's too many negatives, then we just pass. Another reason for exclusion is if a builder's sea trial is only in protected waters and they refuse to let us sea trial where we might turn up some unreviewed handling. We do look for negatives to point out on the YF reviews we write. But I've just given a big hint: if your "favorite" builder doesn't have a full length review, it's probably not one of the builders we recommend; ditto for particular models. Not to worry, if I should be honored enough for Carl to ask me to write the review on the Hatteras 70, I'll quote Olderboater on "white, white, and more white." :D

    Judy
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Yes, I wasn't saying why no bad reviews as different resources have different reasons. I know Carl tries to have advertisers he respects and tries to review boats that are good.

    The reality too is that most boats are good for what they're designed. There are a lot more good boats than bad boats. Even on sites and resources that one sees all positive reviews you can generally pick up on the things the reviewer didn't like. They'll slip something gently in and you read between the lines.

    9 out of 10 boats you can find positive things to say about as long as it's limited to specific uses. I've read some very positive reviews that in the detail gave me enough information to say it wasn't the boat for us.

    Now, when it comes to shows. I never was involved with a show in industry where the salesmen didn't say "the line was very well received." Never once they didn't talk about all the orders. Then you ask, "where's the paper? Let's see the order." The answer is "They haven't written it yet but they're going to when they get back home." I noticed the wording on all the boats Bradford supposedly sold at the show. It says "either have signed contracts or negotiations pending." My translation, "People talked to us about them and said we'd talk more."

    Now one thing I do wonder about. Going the VIP route, did they possibly get more high end buyers while traffic in general was reduced? Perhaps. I have no idea who goes and buys at the show as it's not a place I can imagine ever actually purchasing. I'm sure some do though. Perhaps the show pays off for some, but then I think others show simply because they feel they have no choice.

    As I'm not a potential buyer of a used boat, the shows don't work for me. The newest, the latest, that would interest me more but there's a minimal amount of that. Talk about the Hatteras 90 does nothing for me as there are none. The 70, yes finally. The Riva Florida I would have looked at had I gone, although not in the market. The Sunseeker we're interested in wasn't at the show as they don't have any sitting around in inventory. I just didn't hear from anyone of anything new and exciting and different and awe inspiring. There were 10 Westport 130's. Nothing new there. Had there been a 125, then would have been interesting but that may be next year.

    I also have talked to people in Miami, they have friends in South America, and they're all aiming for the Miami show. They don't see anything so special and so much better about the Fort Lauderdale show to make them attend.

    I hope what the Sun Sentinel reported is accurate and all of those I've heard who went missed something. I want the show to be very successful. I just think the organizers and promoters have pushed things to the limit or slightly beyond.
  10. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    I can't access the story with anteing up, but I sat next to a reporter from the Sun-Sentinal during the press breakfast. Told him about you guys and the information you could provide if the Sun-Sentinal needed yachting expertise. It seems likely the Sun-Sentinal will publish whatever numbers are supplied to them by Show Management. Drum roll please...
  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You don't need to pay to see the story, just need to register.

    Newspapers find themselves in an especially difficult place when it comes to big local events, local sports teams, etc. This is beyond the normal issues with boat shows and reviews. They feel an obligation to support the community they're in. So, another reason they're glad to publish numbers like they did. FLIB's brings a lot of money into Fort Lauderdale.
  12. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Thanks OB. Completely missed that option. I have a hunch that supplying contact info is worth more than a subscription fee. ;)
  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I missed it at first too when they implemented it. I wasn't pleased at all when I thought you had to get a paid subscription. I'm sure the contact info is very valuable to them.