American Marketer


Yacht brands congregate at Fort Lauderdale International Yacht Show

October 31, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show


Attending a yacht show is just another part of the fall season for yacht brands and consumers, and this weekend the two camps will meet again at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, one of the largest in the United States.

The show will host a total of $4 billion of yachts in 3 million square feet of space across seven venues. With more than 130 boat manufacturers at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, consumers and brands will be able to see the new technologies and designs across all the yacht brands.

"Consumers benefit by the convenience of having many brands presenting a variety of yachts all in one relatively confined area that makes it easy to window shop and compare,” said Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center, Atlanta.

“Consumers may learn about brands for which they were unaware and new product features or innovations," he said. "They can also talk to knowledgeable representatives of the brands to obtain good product information.”

At the show

The 55th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will have a mobile application this year that allows guests to better understand the show. MyBoatShow will let guests look up the boats, exhibitors, seminars, transportation and food locations.



Seminars at the show will include demonstrations, such as stand-up paddleboard yoga and Hobie kayaking. Other entertainment includes a film festival that features documentaries about the yachting lifestyle and adventures of boating. There will also be seminars on fishing and clinics for kids.

Brands such as Nisi Yachts, Burgess Yachts, Sunreef Yachts, Camper & Nicholsons International and Feadship Royal Dutch Shipyards will be present at the show.

Camper & Nicholsons, for example, is showcasing eight yachts and hosting a VIP lounge. The brand has provided transportation and lunch or cocktails at the show.

Fort Lauderdale boat show

Yacht show

Feadship Royal Dutch Shipyards has already won some awards at the show, such as the leadership award and best yacht in the 40-65 meter category.

Sunreef Yachts has taken to its Facebook page to notify consumers and fans about their presence at the show, with posts about the boats on display and information about their whereabouts at the show.

Burgess Yachts will complete its $1 billion yacht showcase of the fall’s shows at the Fort Lauderdale show with several boats present. The super yacht brokerage featured the combined billion-dollar inventory of yachts at the Monaco Yacht Show, Cannes Yachting Festival and Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (see story).

The yacht show will take place from Thursday Oct. 30 until Monday, Nov. 3.

Trade shows allow brands to swap ideas and showcase their new innovations.

For instance, luxury automakers kept the momentum going from previous auto shows with mid-level announcements and plenty of brand interaction.

Land Rover unveiled the details of its Discovery Sport concept, Bentley solidified plans to return to North American racing and Audi announced the return of the A3 TDI Sportback to the United States. As the official debut of the New York Auto Show commenced, brands worked to buoy interest with a series of social media initiatives (see story).

Also, since the guests are directly interested in the shows, brands are more likely to solidify a sale through personal interaction and intricate demonstrations toward the consumer.

“The brand benefits by participating in an event that attracts many serious shoppers who can be identified and qualified for the targeting of future marketing and sales activities,” Mr. Kurtz said. “In fact, a number of sales are closed at these events.”

Final Take

Nancy Buckley, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York