IMTEC 1998

IMTEC 1998
Boat Show Report

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Major Exhibitors

Additional Coverage of the Show

Parting Comments

For those not familiar with the show, IMTEC 1998 (International Marine Trades and Conference) was very large boat show held in Chicago at McCormick Place October 1st to 3rd 1998. It was a "trades" show open to dealers and distributors. The general public cannot attend. Hundreds of manufacturers showed their products to over 30,000 dealers, distributors, reps, and buyers from around the world. The show is ran by the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association).

RBBI Comments on the Future of IMTEC

Next year the show relocates to Orlando FL and many issues remain to be worked out. Attempts are being made to bring dealer meetings to the show. The large drop in exhibitors and attendees this year may be hard to overcome.

In addition to IMTEC leaving McCormick Place, other shows have relocated or threatened to do so. The 30 Sept 1998 issue of the Chicago Tribune newspaper featured a story, "Unions, city work out deal to keep McCormick shows." describing a deal to reduce exhibitor and attendee costs at McCormick Place. The horse is already out of the barn, but it might make sense to run back in??

Boat builders hold their dealer meetings much earlier, and the show is almost without a purpose. I saw one account claiming manufacturers could come to view each others products. Its a pretty expensive proposition just to scope out your competitors (and remember they are scoping out yours too).

The NMMA and industry are trying to workout a meaningful future for the show, time will tell.

In addition to this turmoil, the NMMA said they might name a new president Saturday October 4th. A nationwide search had narrowed to two candidates.


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