Classic boat shows are one of the top ways to promote the lifestyle of Woody boating. They are opportunities for locals to meet and talk about their love of classic boats. And as you have seen, a great chance to get out there and share in the fun of Woody Boating. To talk about that leak you can’t fix and meet other fools like yourself. But what if no one shows up? We here at Woody Boater thought we would help you promote your show. But it will require you to do some work.
1.You need a functioning web site: The number one thing you need to promote your show and your chapter is a web site. And it has to work and be up to date. This is the first impression that folks get of your area and show. If you have 3 images from 2008 on there, your chapter looks dead. No info on the area? To risky of a time commitment. Show images and details. How to sign up, what to expect. You are promoting an event just like any destination is. For the person thinking about coming to your show, he or she is thinking “is it worth it?” Is there a place to stay? Will my spouse be on board? Who else is going? Whats the area like? All these should be answered on your website. Even if its just links.
2.Email marketing: Do you have an email list of folks that came to previous shows? They are your low hanging fruit. Ask them to bring a friend. If you are a smaller local show, reach out to new areas around you. Reach out to the next door chapter. Email marketing is a great way to make a relationship with other classic boaters. Don’t expect to have success on one email, it takes many over a long period of time. NOT SPAM by the way..
3.Plan Ahead: Get on calendars, The ACBS one is the best, also make sure you are in Classic Boating. There are still folks out there with rotary phones… Promote the show months in advance. It’s summer, all our weekends are busy in the summer. Get yourself in the consideration list ahead of the masses.
4. Poster & Ads: Nothing works like a cool poster. Show a cool image of a classic boat in the water having fun. Make it bold. Show the date and have the website info on there so folks can find out more. Chances are posters are local postings, so think of the poster as marketing to your local audience. In regards to ads. Make a deal with a local radio station to do a live feed from the event. Buy some ads to promote the event. Radio in the summer is a great media buy for such things.
5.Get Partners: Don’t think of the radio station as just a media buy, think of them as partners in this. Offer boat rides to winners, partner with local new boat dealers and marinas, restaurants… hotels.. Park some boats in a mall with teasers to a bigger show in a month.. You are creating an event that helps all these other entities, involve them in the promotion, thus doubling your efforts.
6.Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest: These are social media platforms. And with a little effort you can reach the masses for free. Many of the local chapters are converting to Facebook for that reason. Use these. Talk about the show on facebook, tweet the events on twitter and publish stunning pictures from your facebook or website on Pinterest. Use the ACBS and Woody Boater facebook pages to help. Get out of your 1980’s mentality and stop the denial. You live in the most dinamic time in communications history. Embrace it and have fun learning something new. Governments have been over thrown with them. I think they can help your show attract folks.
7. Talk about the areas best features. If you are in a historic place, talk about it, talk about the old diner down the street, show old BW pictures on your new web site. Romance the place. We are a romantic sort, history is part of it. Now, if you are near a swamp, talk about the food, Live in the great white north and mosquitoes will suck more blood from you that the red cross. Talk about how well preserved the boats are because they are not used a lot. The point is, it’s not about the boats, it’s about being in a different place with fellow woody boaters and having fun with your common interest. old boats.
8.Woody Boater: We love to promote and report, but how to use us is getting more difficult. So we have to pace ourselves. trust me, we want to be at each show. We love them and the folks that surround them. We have reporters all over North America, and the now the world.. Insane but true. WoodyBoaters strength is web based. Therefore if you don’t have a web site, we cant help promote, we can report, or talk about it after the fact. But that does not help promote this years event. Images. images images.. Readers love pictures of boats. Send them. But remember, if we do a story on your show, folks will want to know more.. Thus is why the website need is number 1 on this list. Our readers are web savvy and like to use the web.
9. Go to other classic boat shows. Two things happen when you go to another show. One you learn how its done.. Two, you meet folks and invite them to your show. You make human connections. No one likes going someplace that they don’t know anyone.
10. Have a special boat or two that has never been seen in your area. Car shows will even pay folks to have certain cars at shows. A special cobra, the golden pond boats… wait, you can just go to Katz’s for that.. Come to think of it, its a 24 hr show at that place, same with Sierra, Antique Boat Center.. Ahh hell, just go to those places and mooch a couple boats. Heck, offer tours, like St Lawrence Restoration does when in Clayton..It helps, and Clayton has the Museum there! It’s never to much… All kidding aside, our point is. Special boats are worth paying the travel for if they are cool enough to attract folks to your show and the hobby.
There ya go, the top ten easy to do yourself ways to promote your show.
How you can help us in return. If you have a website. Link us. That’s it. It’s simple, free and a huge help to us. Your link to us helps our search and folks that come to your site that don’t know about Woody Boater find us. A hit… The first thing we check when we promote a show is if your web site has us linked.. Think of the link as one of those “I support the police” stickers you put on your car.. It helps..
Thanks, we hope this has been of some help. Our dream is that all the shows are prosperous and help far more than just the Classic boat hobby, but promote the fantastic things that your community have to offer.