Nov 3, 2020

MIBS AerialLate on October 28, 2020, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), announced the cancellation of the 2021 Miami International Boat Show and eight other of their weinter boat shows. There will also be significant modifications to its boat and sport show schedule in the first quarter of 2021. Following a thorough market-by-market analysis regarding the feasibility of producing safe and successful winter events, NMMA is canceling nine shows in the first quarter of 2021 and planning to move forward with three shows at this time, either as currently scheduled or postponed to a later date.

"These decisions are in the best interest of our consumers, staff, members, and industry and are the result of months-long conversations with exhibitors, health officials, venue operators, and other stakeholders on producing safe, successful, and high-quality consumer experiences,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “We understand the vital role boat shows play in showcasing new products and generating sales for the recreational boating industry, and we plan to resume our full show schedule starting in September 2021.”

The modified 2021 NMMA winter boat and sport show schedule is as follows:

Proceeding as scheduled:
• Progressive Insurance Atlantic City Boat Show – February 24-28, 2021, with the option to delay the show to early April 2021
• Progressive Insurance Northwest Sportshow – March 25-28, 2021
Postponed to a later date:
• Progressive Insurance New England Boat Show – NMMA is working with the Boston Exhibition & Convention Center to obtain dates later in the first quarter or early in the second quarter

Canceled for the winter of 2021 only:
• Progressive Insurance Atlanta Boat Show
• Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show
• Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat Show
• Progressive Insurance Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow
• Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show
• Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show
• Progressive Insurance Nashville Boat Show
• Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show
• Progressive Insurance St. Louis Boat & Sportshow

For the three shows currently proceeding as scheduled or postponed to the spring, plans will be guided by NMMA’s ‘health and safety first’ principle and are subject to change. NMMA will continue to closely monitor the situation in each market and work with federal, state, and local authorities on those events.

In a strategic change to NMMA’s boat and sport show roster that is unrelated to the modified 2021 winter show schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an agreement was finalized last week to transfer ownership of the Kansas City Boat & Sportshow, Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo, World Fishing & Outdoor Expo, and Saltwater Fishing Expo to Sportshows LLC. An update on the acquisition is being shared with those exhibitors, and an announcement from Sportshows LLC will be made in the coming days.

Even with the changes to NMMA’s 2021 show schedule and portfolio, the association has stable and diverse revenue streams. NMMA is in a sound financial position to remain strong into the future and to continue delivering world-class boat shows.

“From the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis, NMMA’s Board of Directors worked closely with the NMMA staff to ensure the association’s short- and long-term financial stability in any scenario, including the cancellation of some or all our 2021 winter shows,” said Steve Heese, chairman of NMMA’s Board of Directors and president and CEO of Chris-Craft. “The NMMA Board of Directors stands firmly behind the association’s decisions announced today, and we are 100 percent committed to continuing the organization’s reach and impact throughout the global pandemic and far beyond.”

To that end, recognizing the association’s important role in reaching the consumer and extending the industry’s reach and voice, NMMA is evolving its boat shows to meet the demands of today’s consumer and tomorrow’s buyer. This winter, we will launch a new program that connects the power of NMMA’s boat shows across the country and puts into motion a strategic initiative that will integrate boat shows with the industry’s national Discover Boating campaign, providing a more seamless, meaningful consumer experience. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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