Yacht Professionals: How to Make the Most Out of Boat Shows

Attending a boat show can be daunting. Find here insider tips from other yacht pros to make it an excellent business opportunity.

Attending a boat show can be daunting, but it can also be an excellent opportunity for yacht professionals. How can you make the most out of boat shows? What is the point of them? YATCO answers the common questions surrounding these events.  

What is a Boat Show? 

A boat show is an event that brings together all elements of the yacht and boating industry. Typically, it is held outdoors in a marina or harbor, with companies occupying booths that promote services and products. With boat shows, many shipyards and builders will present new models or yachts to potential clients, brokers and industry peers. Boat shows are an opportunity to network, learn about market developments and meet clients.  

What is the Point of a Boat Show, from a Yacht Broker’s Perspective? 

In a conversation with YATCO, Toby Maclaurin of Ocean Independence discussed the ongoing importance of boat shows for brokers and clients.

“Our industry still understands the value of face-to-face networking, trust, and personal interaction. These things just cannot be done digitally.”

“Our industry still understands the value of face-to-face networking, trust, and personal interaction. These things just cannot be done digitally.”

Although many individuals now discover yachting through social media, many clients still prefer to visit the boat shows and walk on board vessels to immerse themselves in the luxury of yachting. Although a digital presence is important, boat shows are vital as you need to reach out and engage with generations that aren’t necessarily digitally-savvy or might not have the time to engage with all the digital touchpoints that the industry now has,” adds Maclaurin.  

“Although a digital presence is important, boat shows are vital as you need to reach out and engage with generations that aren’t necessarily digitally-savvy or might not have the time to engage with all the digital touchpoints that the industry now has,” adds Maclaurin.  

How do Brokers Prepare for Boat Shows?

Rob Newton, sales consultant for IYC shares how he gets ready for a boat show:

To prepare for the show, I have three tasks:

1) To know what boats are available in the show and the area. This list of boats allows me to show my clients the vessels that will interest them the most. I also like to have a list of similar boats. For instance, if I have a client looking for 120 foot Benetti, it’s good for me to also know which other 120-foot yachts are on the market and in which area they are. It might well be that one located in Europe is a substantially better deal than the one we’re looking at.

If I have a client looking for 120 foot Benetti, it’s good for me to also know which other 120-foot yachts are on the market and in which area they are. It might well be that one located in Europe is a substantially better deal than the one we’re looking at.

2) To know which clients are coming. By knowing which clients are coming in and when, I can appropriately schedule the showings. Doing this allows me to get the help that I need and save my clients endless time just wandering around.

3) To walk the show before it starts and confirm what boats are there. In the days leading up to the show while the boats are still being brought in, I find it’s a great time to walk around and to check on the boats that I expect to be there and see if there are any additional that were not on the list that showed up.

What Are the Biggest Boat Shows? 

There are many boat shows to choose from. The most popular events are held in yachting hubs such as

  • Cannes,
  • Genoa,
  • Miami,
  • Monaco,
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Singapore. 

What Are the Dates of the Next Boat Shows? 

  • Monaco Yacht Show will take place from 28 September to 1 October.
  • Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will take place from 26 October – 30 October. 

A full list of yacht and boat shows can be found here.  

What Time Does the Boat Show Start? 

Every boat show starts at various times but many of them start in the morning, last all day until the evening, and take place over several days.  

What to Wear to a Boat Show? 

Many boat shows take place in warm yachting hubs, so wearing clothes that are cool and comfortable is beneficial. However, it is important to remember that you will be meeting clients so being smartly dressed is important.  

Are Boat Show Prices Negotiable? 

The entrance price for boat shows varies. If you are an industry professional or member of the press, there may be discounts available. Visit the specific boat show website for further information. 

Are Boat Shows the Best Time to Buy? 

Boat shows are a fantastic opportunity for clients to see what the industry has to offer. Potential buyers can walk around the yachts, meet designers and builders and understand more about owning a boat. Boat shows are an excellent time to buy a yacht, but can also be an enjoyable time to decide which vessel is right for you and make connections in the industry.  

What is Boat Etiquette? 

When you are invited on board by a yacht broker, owner, or yacht crew member, one of the most important rules to remember is taking your shoes off. Teak decking on yachts is very delicate and shoes can damage this. Many yachts will have a large basket to place your shoes in before embarking on the boat.  

Be careful of delicate furniture or artworks on board a yacht. Do not place glasses down without a coaster and be sure not to spill any food or drink you are given. Be polite and listen to the crew.  

If you are unsure of the correct boat etiquette, ask a member of the yacht’s crew, who will be more than happy to assist you.  

What Should You Carry With You On a Boat at Boat Shows? 

At a boat show, you will be meeting lots of people and walking all day. Make sure to bring

  • business cards,
  • wear comfortable shoes and
  • carry a bottle of water! 

To meet the YATCO team at an upcoming boat show, contact us.  


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