Archive for » January 4th, 2018«

Annual boat, RV show features hundreds of vendors

The 20th annual Southern Louisiana Boat, Sport and RV Show begins Friday at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center.

Highlights of the event include a huge boat and RV sales event with 2018 models of all types. The show will also have the world’s largest mobile aquarium, an indoor fishing pond stocked with rainbow trout and a whitetail deer display.

The show boasts over 100,000 square feet of the latest boats, RV’s, jet skis, resort information, ATVs, fishing tackle and other sporting equipment.

Hundreds of brands will be on display, including Airstream, Coachmen, Fleetwood, Keystone and Winnebago.

Doors open Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $10, but children 15 and under are free with a paid adult. Tickets are available at the door. Parking at the Civic Center lot is also free.

Friday is family day where children 12 and under can catch a rainbow trout at Fish-O-Rama for free.

The Civic Center is at 346 Civic Center Blvd., Houma.

For information, visit www.southernlouisianaboatrvshow.com.

 


Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or julia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @gingerale214.


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Top Three Reasons January is Best Time to Shop Boats – DeSoto Times

Top three Reasons January is Best Time for Mid-Southerners to Shop Boats

It’s cold in January!

So why are we seeing advertisements for boat expos? The “NEW Memphis Boat Expo” will dock inside the Memphis Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, Jan. 12 through Jan. 14, 2018.

The event is produced by TURNBOW, INC. The first annual downtown Memphis event will cover the entire main hall and pre-function areas of Cook Convention Center. This kicks off the boat show season for the Mid-South. Here are the top 3 reasons why January is the best time for mid-southerners to shop boats.

Selection

Boat trade shows or expos bring together most of the major boat builders and dealers into one space. Exhibitors usually show off the new models and display the most popular boats in their lineups. Visitors can see and experience the actual, life-size boats within one place. Boat shows are also social events where thousands of boaters from far and wide gather each year to talk boats and dream of their next purchase.

Information

With most of the major boating industry players and providers of goods and services are at the boat expos, consumers can get all the information they need to plan for the next boating season within one location. You can find out about insurance, financing, watercraft registration, licenses, marinas, and other matters of interest.

Better Prices and Terms

Unlike an Auto Show, you can purchase a boat at a boat show or expo. As a rule, prices, financing and terms of sale are better during boat show season. The healthy competition between dealers prompts them to offer the best discounts on the previous year’s models and attractive specials to spur sales of their new models. From January 12-14, boat dealers from three states will fill over 130,000 square feet at Cook Convention Center in Memphis. Additional outdoor lifestyle brands such as Airstream, Polaris, and Yamaha will be there! Garage parking is free. Corky’s Bar-B-Que will be serving up their Memphis best, and the newly renovated Sheraton has a limited number of discounted rooms for those mentioning the Expo. Country mega star Josh Turner will headline the VIP Preview party on Friday. Journey, former lead singer, Steve Augeri performs Saturday. Chad Williams will offer a presentation on Sunday’s Faith, Family, and Freedom theme. For more details about classes, concerts, and to sign up for the weekly Memphis Boat Expo announcements, visit www.MemphisBoatExpo.com or follow MemphisBoatEXPO on Facebook.


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Editor’s Choice 2017: Mark’s Marine | Boating Industry

Mark’s Marine
Hayden, Idaho

The dealers in the Top 100 represent the elite of the boating industry – those that are judged by the team at Boating Industry to be the best dealers in North America.

Within that 100, many dealers are called out for special recognition – the Dealer of the Year and the Top 20 that qualify as the “best of the best.” And the Best in Class awards for those dealers that excel in one particular area of their business from marketing to customer service to boat show strategy.

While the standards for those awards are pretty straightforward, the companies recognized as Editor’s Choice are less so. Every editor who works on the Top 100 gets a chance to pick a dealership that stands out for them as one that impresses them as an “up and comer,” a dealership that is improving itself and constantly becoming better. Look back on past editors’ picks and you’ll see a lot of dealers that ended up cracking into the Top 20 or garnered a Best in Class award down the road.

A new boat show strategy helped Mark’s Marine grow show sales.

Mark’s Marine is a perfect example of that as it continues to improve and excel in all aspects of its business. The dealership has impressed the Boating Industry team with its growth over the last several years and its plans for the future.

“Planning for future success is first about knowing who you are, making sure your staff knows and lives that vision, and delivering it to the customer,” Business Manager/Owner Karen Thykeson wrote in the company’s Top 100 application. “Once you really know who you are and strive always to grow and become better, success in the future develops naturally. We don’t take anything for granted in our processes. Just because we’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the best way.”

In budgeting and planning for the future, Mark’s Marine has made use of regional and national demographic and economic development data.

“In particular we track housing starts, and retirement population and seasonal boat registration data to help develop a comprehensive picture of what the upcoming year will look like,” Thykeson says. “We maintain history over time data on many of our key metrics so we can gauge how useful they are as a predictor of boating marketing conditions.”

More recently, Mark’s Marine has found days-on-market and available inventory for vacation lake homes to be an indicator of market strength.

“These have indicated a heating up market with an increase in customers having more than a single vacation home in our market area,” Thykeson says.

Mark’s Marine also made several improvements to the business in 2016, including an improved boat show strategy and a new website.

“In 2016, we dramatically increased our commitment to the Spokane Boat Show and designed and built an amazing new stage facility to make it easier for consumers to view our pontoon boats,” Thykeson says.

The dealership added boat show space to separate its fishing and pontoon boats and improve its sales focus in each area.

“The pontoon sales are much more lifestyle focused while the fishing sales are more technically oriented,” Thykeson says. “This allowed us to select the appropriate staff for each category and train accordingly.”

The Mark’s Marine team designed a new lift system and prepacked deck shims and pontoon blocks numbered for each boat.

“This allowed us to pull a boat from trailer and have it set in place every 10 minutes allowing for us to set every one of our 62 boats and get the ramping assembled in one day over both areas,” Thykeson says.

The new boat show strategy helped grow show sales by 30 percent for the year.

The company also switched to a responsive website in 2016 built by Dealer Spike. “This was the first time we took site creation out of our own hands and it was done primarily due to not having the internal time to develop a new responsive site,” Thykeson said. “The new site has resulted in a much more robust lead generation with multiple leads a day from our site.”

Mark’s Marine also added a digital boat builder to its showroom, located near the front door, with the ability to pull up the dealership’s full inventory. The system syncs automatically with its online inventory and lets customers build boats from several of Mark’s Marine’s manufacturers for units it might not have in stock.

“This interactive tool served as a silent salesman for times when our sales staff was otherwise occupied,” Thykeson says.

 



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Editor’s Choice 2017: Mark’s Marine

Mark’s Marine
Hayden, Idaho

The dealers in the Top 100 represent the elite of the boating industry – those that are judged by the team at Boating Industry to be the best dealers in North America.

Within that 100, many dealers are called out for special recognition – the Dealer of the Year and the Top 20 that qualify as the “best of the best.” And the Best in Class awards for those dealers that excel in one particular area of their business from marketing to customer service to boat show strategy.

While the standards for those awards are pretty straightforward, the companies recognized as Editor’s Choice are less so. Every editor who works on the Top 100 gets a chance to pick a dealership that stands out for them as one that impresses them as an “up and comer,” a dealership that is improving itself and constantly becoming better. Look back on past editors’ picks and you’ll see a lot of dealers that ended up cracking into the Top 20 or garnered a Best in Class award down the road.

A new boat show strategy helped Mark’s Marine grow show sales.

Mark’s Marine is a perfect example of that as it continues to improve and excel in all aspects of its business. The dealership has impressed the Boating Industry team with its growth over the last several years and its plans for the future.

“Planning for future success is first about knowing who you are, making sure your staff knows and lives that vision, and delivering it to the customer,” Business Manager/Owner Karen Thykeson wrote in the company’s Top 100 application. “Once you really know who you are and strive always to grow and become better, success in the future develops naturally. We don’t take anything for granted in our processes. Just because we’ve always done something a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the best way.”

In budgeting and planning for the future, Mark’s Marine has made use of regional and national demographic and economic development data.

“In particular we track housing starts, and retirement population and seasonal boat registration data to help develop a comprehensive picture of what the upcoming year will look like,” Thykeson says. “We maintain history over time data on many of our key metrics so we can gauge how useful they are as a predictor of boating marketing conditions.”

More recently, Mark’s Marine has found days-on-market and available inventory for vacation lake homes to be an indicator of market strength.

“These have indicated a heating up market with an increase in customers having more than a single vacation home in our market area,” Thykeson says.

Mark’s Marine also made several improvements to the business in 2016, including an improved boat show strategy and a new website.

“In 2016, we dramatically increased our commitment to the Spokane Boat Show and designed and built an amazing new stage facility to make it easier for consumers to view our pontoon boats,” Thykeson says.

The dealership added boat show space to separate its fishing and pontoon boats and improve its sales focus in each area.

“The pontoon sales are much more lifestyle focused while the fishing sales are more technically oriented,” Thykeson says. “This allowed us to select the appropriate staff for each category and train accordingly.”

The Mark’s Marine team designed a new lift system and prepacked deck shims and pontoon blocks numbered for each boat.

“This allowed us to pull a boat from trailer and have it set in place every 10 minutes allowing for us to set every one of our 62 boats and get the ramping assembled in one day over both areas,” Thykeson says.

The new boat show strategy helped grow show sales by 30 percent for the year.

The company also switched to a responsive website in 2016 built by Dealer Spike. “This was the first time we took site creation out of our own hands and it was done primarily due to not having the internal time to develop a new responsive site,” Thykeson said. “The new site has resulted in a much more robust lead generation with multiple leads a day from our site.”

Mark’s Marine also added a digital boat builder to its showroom, located near the front door, with the ability to pull up the dealership’s full inventory. The system syncs automatically with its online inventory and lets customers build boats from several of Mark’s Marine’s manufacturers for units it might not have in stock.

“This interactive tool served as a silent salesman for times when our sales staff was otherwise occupied,” Thykeson says.

 



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