Virtual Boat Shows Are Here To Stay-ish

, ,

You know its Canada!

Yesterdays virtual boat show by the great folks at the Okanagan ACBS chapter. was a hit. is a hit, will be a hit. According to our stats looks like around 4000 of you visited the site yesterday and around 700 went to the show. This is with no previous announcement, and on a Sunday. I also add, the show will go on through out the week virtually here. So I will assume another 400 folks will visit the show. But how is this the future? Sorry BTW.. Hold on, there is hope.

WoodyBoater Peoples Choice winner. mmm I wonder why?

For this year, this will develop into a thing for sure. Here are some ways this sort of thing is a critical key to the growth of our passion.

  1. Virtual Boat Shows can be used with real boat shows. As a awareness campaign to come to the real event.  And after the real event.
  2. They are very useful. Be honest, you learned more about the boats than at any boat show. The boats stories are part of our boats history. The personality of each owner comes through.
  3. They are easy, this show was done on Squarespace. A template plug and play website. You can build it, your grandmother could build it. Or Granddaughter more likely. SEE, YOUNGER PEOPLE. Asking for help from a 25 year old.. is a way to infect them with Varnish. Focus on that age, not the 5 year olds.
  4. Complain all you want, this is the new real, and a very smart way to get stuff out there from a marketing perspective.
  5. Your small show gets international exposure. Of the 1000 people that went to the show yesterday and will this week, they came from all over the WORLD… Not your area. These are people that would have NEVER come to your town. So you are not loosing traffic to your real show.
  6. Think bigger. Image your virtual show is done in stages. Week one, the show opens with the boats that are going to be there, but also feature the area. The texture of your town, your history, etc. Then the day of the show is awards and fun voting online. This can be this summer and then expand into a blend with the real show.

    Raise your hand to help

  7. This changes how your club is set up. You will need to recruit someone that can help put this together. Anyone willing to try and learn is fine. The templates like the one used yesterday are all set up. LEARN SOMETHING NEW! You will fail, fail, fail, and then succeed. I started WoodyBoater 12 years ago, not knowing anything, Zip! Nada, Nothing.
  8. Think long play, not one day. Your show will be live for a long time. Its not just a one day event. And the long tail of it will help your club be seen on Google and search engines.
  9. THIS DOES NOT REPLACE YOU, it enhances your event.
  10. FOR GODS SAKE DO NOT DO THIS ON FACEBOOK! DO NOT!!!!!!!! Read facebook, whatever.. USE Facebook to market your event. BUT DO NOT DO THE SHOW ON FACEBOOK. Your virtual show website thing with all the goodies, is your property, and you cant do that on Facebook, and all the crap that surrounds that.

Thanks just a start of the reasons why this is a good thing. People talked about hoping this wasn’t the future. If you read into that. It’s not the future, its already here. And that desire to be there in real human ways is so much more appreciated now.  A huge thanks again for trying something new and out of your comfort zones!  IF YOU ARE HERE TODAY AND MISSED THE SHOW.. YOU DIDN”T. HERE IT IS. CLICK HERE

20 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Can sound be added. The sound of some inboards idling and running in the background could further stir the juices. There’s a comment from someone that doesn’t know squat about how to do this stuff! The peanut gallery has spoken.

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    GREAT IDEA!- 100% yes. There can even be live streaming if the event is real. You could have an entire part of the virtual show that is just engines running

  3. Todd C
    Todd C says:

    As we get older and cannot attend for physical or financial reasons, it’s a great option. Also if it was an area or lake that was not in someone’s radar, after a great show like yesterday…maybe it would be. Adding sounds (great idea, as was streaming event s), and varnish and oil candles for smell would help also.

    RJTIPPLE says:

    I think you’re really on to something here that can bring boat clubs together in the virtual world to present a show from the past or a virtual show assembled in the present. In either case it becomes a part of a historical record that lives on forever. The varnish will never get dull and the chrome will always shine.

  5. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Since we are featuring MUZZY as the peoples choice who could forget this moment in time?!?!?

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I am willing to learn…but today I am Going Boating…really…actually, in the flesh, right on, gotta do it…gonna do it…
    then I can check back and do the show! When ever I want evidently…which is novel and cool.
    I just got my new flip phone… too much change at once would be scary.
    John in Va

  7. Rick
    Rick says:

    I love the idea of going to a show and being able to pull up on a smart phone the story of each boat. Read it the day before even to prepare questions from the owners. Heck the MI chapter can highlight a boat per week for the year leading up to the show I might have heard about somewhere.

  8. Chuck Crosby
    Chuck Crosby says:

    I enjoyed the Okanagan Boat show for all the reasons stated above…Nice boats, excellent back story on the boats, plus not that many dock pictures….or the typical crowds on the docks.

    The other big plus, the beautiful pictures of the Okanagan Valley. I have only visited this region, once, a long time ago and it has been on my to do list since I retired. My Mom’s grandfather’s brother, Finan MacDonald, four or five generations back was a Fur Trader and explorer of the Kootenia River Basin for the North-West Company. He first came out to this area in 1805 and ran or established Trading Posts in Spokane and Walla Walla located in present day Washington State and the Kootenia River basin which cover parts of Idaho, Montana and British Columbia.

  9. Steve Leslie
    Steve Leslie says:

    Thanks so much for everything! Those numbers are great exposure for our small club. We are a geographically challenged chapter with members spread out all over the place. It makes getting together a real challenge.
    We started using Squarespace to produce our quarterly newsletter after a friend suggested it. It’s pretty easy to learn and we archive the past issues on our website. I inherited quite a list of newsletter email addresses that we continue to add to.

    Now for my confession… This was very easy to do.
    I emailed everyone on the mailing list and asked to send four photos of their boat but to include one with them in the boat. A brief description of the boat and where they travelled from. They could share a short story and or give a shout out to friends. After that it was just cut and paste!
    We gave everybody about two weeks to register and sent out a couple of reminders. It was just like a real show…most entries didn’t come until the last few days!
    We were super happy that we had people from all over bring their boats. Two provinces and five states! And spectators from everywhere!
    This was a lot of fun!
    Thanks Woodyboater!

  10. RivaDella
    RivaDella says:

    For a thousand reasons, I think the Virtual Boat Show/s is a great idea! In fact, it is enough to get me to re-up my acbs membership, having dropped it last year after 35 years….
    Are you listening acbs?

  11. Briant
    Briant says:

    Good and bad.

    It was great to actually have the opportunity to read the stories behind the boats, as at a real show, the owner is not always standing right there to yap about it all, over and over, and they also probably did not make up a display with the words and pics.

    The bad is that it we will read only about the same boats year after year and many will be forgotten, not invited, not known etc. At our local show I gave up long ago with anything having to do with awards….I don’t bother with the dinner and we don’t enter to have the boat judged. Every year, the same four dudes win and just rotate the awards, while many never win or are even acknowledged to exist. We have one of the oldest boats in town, with a documented history, and even photos of the damn thing on saw horses in the warehouse being built in 1929 and we have not once won an award. Those dudes who throw $150k at a boat, win every year and are big smoozers win, while there are many of us virtually ignored. Do they have original photos of their perfect boat way back when in Michigan? I doubt it. But a “used a few times a year” trailer Queen is always deemed better than a boat that is used and has afforded thousands of great memories for over eighty years.

    My point is that many of us would not get the invite, for many reasons. I gave up years ago on the clubs, both car and boat, for many reasons. We go to the local show to show the locals a bit of their local community history and to give rides. I don’t have the time to deal with the shenanigans of some of the club folks and the idiot local town officials either.

    I cannot tell you the number of smiles I have witnessed before, during and after giving a ride. You will never have that at a silly virtual show.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:


      You bring up the very reason that a few years ago The Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club changed their sponsored award from a “Best Chris-Craft” award to a “Stewardship” award. We have since honored many boats and owners that have lovingly cared for their crafts for years (sometimes decades) that otherwise would never have received any recognition.

  12. Howard Lehman
    Howard Lehman says:

    I think the virtual show idea is a wonderful one, and I especially appreciate the way the Okanagan chapter suggested photos and descriptions with each entry. Of course I enjoy admiring the beautifully restored boats that probably get little use so they can continue their shine and richly deserved and admired beauty, but my heart always goes to the ones that have been “in the family” for years, get a lot of use, still look good and have a pedigree of interesting and meaningful stories, such as the ones Briant and Troy describe.
    Thanks also to you Matt for the great work you do every day with your incredible site, Woody Boater.

Comments are closed.