RIMTA’s vision for Providence Boat Show puts industry first
THE PROVIDENCE BOAT SHOW, one of the largest winter boat shows in New England, has a vision and a new management team under the Rhode island Marine Trades Association, which hopes to turn the show into a win for Rhode Island's marine industry.
BRISTOL – The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association has hired a new management team to realize its vision for a revitalized Providence Boat Show that will strengthen the local marine industry.
“RIMTA works hard to showcase the leading technology, innovative design and industry excellence coming out of the recreational boating industry in Rhode Island,” said RIMTA CEO Wendy Mackie in a news release Wednesday announcing the changes. “The Providence Boat Show is a great opportunity to pool all this expertise into one showcase and to show recreational boaters from throughout New England what the Ocean State has to offer.”
The changes are designed to draw a diverse group of exhibitors and boating enthusiasts from within a 100-mile radius of the show, as well as raise funds to support RIMTA’s statewide marketing efforts for the boating industry, its educational and networking services, and its legislative efforts to keep Rhode Island’s no-sales-tax policy on boats and boating services in place.
“The show’s success is truly the industry’s success,” said Mackie.
This year’s show and its attractions will be built around the central theme of “Explore Rhode Island,” inspiring showgoers – both those new to the water and lifelong boaters – to discover the Ocean State aboard power boats, sailboats or human-powered craft such as standup paddleboards and kayaks.
The show will also feature an expanded program of seminars and special events, both general and specific to Rhode Island, on topics ranging from fishing technique, navigation and seamanship to coastal cruising in Rhode Island waters. RIMTA also has designed a showcase pavilion into the show floor plan to host special guest speakers.
To make this vision a reality, RIMTA has brought on board a management team of marine industry veterans. Susan Daly – who has managed marketing and sponsorship functions for entities such as the International Yacht Restoration School, the America3 America’s Cup syndicate and Vanguard Sailboats – will spearhead a marketing campaign for the show, while Patricia Yeoman, director of marketing for Nautor’s Swan USA East, will develop the show’s program of seminars and special events.
Boat-show veteran Jonathan Banks will manage sales and operations for the Providence Boat Show. As former executive director of Sail America, Banks was involved in the production of 15 sailboat shows, including the Strictly Sail family of shows held in Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, St. Petersburg, Fla., and the San Francisco Bay area. Under his leadership, space sales for the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show grew 40 percent and attendance grew 30 percent over a three-year period, according to RIMTA.
“Rhode Island is a strong and passionate boating market, and the Providence Boat Show is the ideal venue to reach a highly targeted boating and fishing audience,” said Banks. “The team at RIMTA has many great ideas to improve the overall show experience for both exhibitors and attendees – and these initiatives will help increase attendance and add excitement to the show. There’s enormous enthusiasm for the show among our exhibitors, and we are pleased to welcome several new exhibitors to the show.”
Following RIMTA’s purchase of the Providence Boat Show, the organization said that as part of the agreement Newport Exhibition Group would continue to support the show through management and marketing consultation, as well as onsite staffing for the upcoming show. A RIMTA spokesperson was not immediately available to confirm whether Daly, Yeoman and Banks had replaced Newport Exhibition Group’s management team or would be working in coordination with them.