OMC announced the day before the show (Sept 30), Robert (Bob) Gowens formerly General Manager of Mercury Marine's Quicksilver unit will be an OMC VP and President of North American Engine operations. The press release is on our OMC News Page.
OMC's exhibit booth was incredibly bizarre for an engine/boat manufacturer's booth. A large stage in the middle with seating for an audience hosted a Riverdance show and other performers showing the latest in OMC branded apparel. It was a cross between a clothing show and a state fair! The stage was covered with a huge umbrella. Rotating lights projecting various OMC logos.
The Riverdance show certainly drew a crowd and the music penetrated the exhibit hall. It was enjoyable, but what in the heck did it have to do with boating????
The RIVERDANCE !
Upon my return, I found a message posted in the rec boats newsgroup that summed it up. It is reproduced below.
Date: Sun, 04 Oct 98 From: XXXXXXXX Newsgroups: rec.boats Subject: OMC at IMTEC boat show For anyone who attended the IMTEC (trade show) in Chicago this past week...what was up with OMC's booth? They showed no outboards (or boats) at all in their booth. They had River Dancers, jugglers and singers but no products??? At first I thought maybe they were trying to cut their show budget but the carnival they put on had to cost more than shipping a few engines. Not to mention the army of employees they had standing around. So since it couldn't have been a budget issue, what were they thinking? Going to a boat show with no products? Doesn't make much sense to me (or everyone else that I talked with). The general concensus from everyone I spoke with was that OMC was going down the tubes fast and this was just one more indication of it. That and the comments about OMC giving it's dealers a song & dance routine for years and they just decided to have it "live" at a boat show (grin) Anyone else have any idea what they were doing?
Return To RBBI IMTEC98 Navigation Page