As you know we have been hammering how to help people understand that a classic boat is a cool option in the boating universe. And with that said, boat shows of any kind are events that attract people that are into boating. We can all agree on that. These huge new boat shows are actually one of the most important types of shows for us as a culture, because they are visited by the general public and they don’t even know that classic boats are an option. A classic boat show in the summer attracts folks that kinda know and are fascinated by them and want fellowship. But regardless are there. But here is the big insight.
Focus your boat shows for the new people coming to the show. Now hold on.. Yes, you should have events and stuff for the folks that take the time and effort to bring thier boats to the event. BUT. They, us, me, are the product, and we are there to be together with you and spread the gospel. So there are TWO versions of a show that are critical. One internal, and the other external. I am not talking about posters and ads here, I am talking about how the show is set up. Here are some thought starters.
- Make the show FREE Admission (if you can). Don’t over charge, this isn’t a fund raiser its marketing!
- Have Before and After boats. Like Mike Mayor brought to the Portland show. Show folks that it can be done!
- Bring entry level boats. Have simple under $20K boats there to show that you can easily get one and be part of the community
- Give rides, lots of rides, more rides, and even more rides.
- Market at different places than you normally do. Like a Car Parts store, bowling alleys, new boat stores, vintage clothing stores, antique malls. Park Classic boats with huge signs on them around town. Tow a classic boat around with a sign. Sky write, that’s an old way to market. Buy a bill board in town. The point here is to reach NEW people.
- Invite fiberglass classic boats. Show people that a 1970 anything is a classic. These events are there to change and inspire folks to get involved. One of the best shows in recent history was the Sunnyland show that invited the Correct Craft boats to the party. It changed everything for us.
- Learn from the YNOT guys! Drive your boats around, make noise and have fun ripping up the water. The YNOT gang have added live and joy to all the shows they go to. WE WANT MORE!
- Bring engines, have mechanics there at the events to sell the concept of analog engines!
- Have any 20 year olds in your family? Bring them, pay them to come, bribe them, feed them, what ever, pay for there Uber to the show, text them whatever. It’s very important to associate younger hip people with our classic boats. They secretly love them, but hanging around a bunch of “q tips” is not cool! Remember we are talking about a boat show here. Not real life. Take photos of them and share those on social media. Not the ones of you for gods sake. Have you looked in the mirror lately? I did and curled up in the corner!
- Remember that a boat show is for the people COMING to the show, not you. You are the sell, the product and the reason they are coming. Focus on the consumer, not yourself.
I know we have been preaching some top ten stuff lately, and know that only a bit of each of these is helpful. But even if you do one or two of these things it might help a new person to the culture feel welcome and give them the boost they need. Now you kids go out there and sell us some club memberships! Oh, wait, Note, the membership to a club thing is a second conversation. Wait, just send them to us here at Woody Boater, we will infect them with Varnishitus! And before you know it they will be us! And isn’t that what classic boating is all about… Aboot in Canada!