Went to my first CT Marine Trades Expo yesterday and saw some great presentations. The folks from the Connecticut Marine Trades Association did a good job pulling the day together. Some folks from an Internet services company spent a couple of hours convincing the local marine businesses in the room that they should have a website, and that they should use it to increase their sales. I stuck around for a presentation after lunch which included a panel of boat salespeople from around the state sharing some ideas on how to sell boats in these tough economic times. All four of the panelists described ways in which they really went outside the box to get their boats in front of people, including showing their boats in local parades, at malls and airports, and even at non-nautical fairs such as an apple harvest festival!
The group also stated that they have significantly reduced or completely done away with print advertising; instead they are getting involved in community initiatives, and marketing on the web - placing ads on boating websites such as those in my nautical sites network. Would this be a good place for a shameless plug? You bet! Contact me directly if you'd like to advertise on my boating websites. You'll get a tremendous value for your money, and you'll reach the recreational boaters that are most likely to be interested in products and services like yours.
Readership of the Daily Boater has continued to grow, and I've been trying to give more back to our readers. As such I have engaged a new guest author to write a weekly column for the site. Whether you are a novice sailor or have years of experience, you'll enjoy the insights of John Jamieson. Captain John teaches sailing skippers the no-nonsense cruising skills
they need for safer sailing worldwide, and now he shares that experience on DailyBoater.com. Of course, if you want all-Captain-John all the time, sign up for his FREE sailing tips
newsletter at http://skippertips.com. You can also become a paying member for instant access to 425+ articles, video tutorials, newsletters, and free eBooks. The articles that Captain John has contributed to the Daily Boater are available for free at the following link: http://www.dailyboater.com/search/label/Captain%20John
On a national note, I have been continuing to try to collaborate with the NMMA, and just this week they placed a link to BoatNameGear.com on their Grow Boating resources site - the website for the organization charged with the task of increasing participation in boating. Here's the link - scroll down to the bottom to see the t-shirt picture and link to BoatNameGear: http://www.growboating.org/toolkit/promotionalmaterials.aspx
I also exhibited for the first time at the Newport Boat Show last month with a booth for BoatNameGear. The weather was beautiful, which helped the crowds come out in pre-recession numbers. I am pleased to report that we put a lot of personalized gear into the hands of folks from the northeast, and met a lot of nice people from not only Rhode Island, but also CT, NY, Mass, New Hampshire and New Jersey. People came from everywhere for this show. I was able to snap a few photos from the Newport show which you can check out here.
I opted not to do the local Norwalk Boat Show the following weekend, and that turned out to be a blessing as the show was practically rained out. Next up: probably Hartford and Boston in 2012.
Hopefully I'll have some updates before then!