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Minneapolis Boat Show Produces Positive Returns

The 2022 Progressive® Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show® Presented by Discover Boating™ kicked off NMMA’s winter boat show season with strong momentum, attracting more than 21,000 attendees throughout its four-day run, Jan. 20-23. Despite Covid- and weather-related challenges, the overall sentiment from exhibitors has been positive, with many reporting strong sales and leads from eager, qualified customers.

“We were happy to welcome back loyal boat show attendees and new boating enthusiasts who entered the market in the last two years,” said Darren Envall, show manager and NMMA vice president. “The Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show helped to foster relationships with new and old customers alike, and it was a pleasure working with our exhibitors to deliver a safe and successful 2022 show, showcasing best-in-class boating innovation. We can’t wait to start planning for 2023!”

“This year we at River Valley Motor Sport had the opportunity to expand our space from 16,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet and were pleasantly surprised to increase unit revenue by 45 percent compared to the 2020 Minneapolis Boat Show, which was our best historical show ever,” John Wooden, president of River Valley Motor Sports.

According to Tim Wojtas, president of St. Croix Marine & Power, the company broke sales and margin records each day during the boat show.

Dan’s Southside Marine, which has been exhibiting at the Minneapolis Boat Show for 49 years, also saw a sales increase. “The 2022 Minneapolis Boat Show was not the show to miss! We saw a 50 percent increase in sales over our previous best show,” said Dan Chesky, president of Dan’s Southside Marine.

The show opened with its annual Sneak Peek event on Wednesday evening, celebrating the fourth annual Minneapolis Innovation Awards. Additional highlights included the Fred’s Shed How-To Center Presented by Progressive, “Land of 10,000 Lakes” lifestyle experience, Antique & Classic Boat Display and a comprehensive display of 500 boats.

Buzz around the boat show was in full effect with robust television, radio, print and digital marketing delivering strong reach and frequency, especially to younger, more diverse audiences. Major local broadcast affiliates – ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX – aired segments multiple times throughout the weekend. And popular social media influencers shared show content, encouraging ticket sales. Here’s a look at some marketing highlights stemming from NMMA marketing communications efforts:

  • TV spots
  • ABC Twin Cities Live
  • Star Tribune (print & online): Minnesota’s chill doesn’t extend to the boating world
  • Twin Cities Business: Minnesota Ranked Fifth in Nation for Boat Sales in 2020
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal: Minneapolis Boat Show resurfaces after Covid-19 hiatus

Up next: the Progressive® Insurance New York Boat Show® and Progressive Insurance Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow® opening Jan. 26, running through Sunday, January 30.

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