9 Oct 2018
New Promoter Quickly Hosts Jacksonville In-Water Family Boat Show – Special – The Florida Times-Union
With just four months to host the Jacksonville In-Water Boat Show 2018, event organizer Jacqui Bomar didn’t want to waste time seeing what worked and what didn’t from previous shows.
And even if she had the time, she just didn’t have the point.
“We are starting from scratch,” Bomar said. “It’s a whole new show. We created our own show. It’s totally different. It doesn’t sound like anything from the past, so why look back? “
Gone is the name of the Southeastern US Boat Show, along with the popular Oyster Jam music festival, parties, and traditional layout throughout the Metro Park and Marina.
Bomar said that in addition to having a new name and Yamaha as the main sponsor, the show will include fishing seminars with local fishermen, Captain Chris Rooney, Tony Eden, Steve Grant and Craig Sutton. And for young anglers, the fishing lessons will be taught by Captain Don Dingman of the Hook the Future Foundation, with each child receiving a rod and reel.
There’s even a “Fetch-n-Fish” show, which features a 41-foot-long, 4000-gallon mobile aquarium full of bass. The show, starring Jason Reynolds, is an interactive experience that is to be enjoyed. both a fishing show and a dog show with top-flight scavengers jumping into the bass bin. There will also be lessons that will focus on different types of fishing techniques.
On the entertainment side, there will be concerts by BigJeff the Entertainer, Aaron Koerner and Cyrus Quaranta.
But make no mistake: the main purpose of the show, when it opens Friday noon for three days, is to drive sales and interest in local boating and marine industries. . And the best way to do that is to involve the whole family, Bomar said.
“We don’t have a lot of parties,” she said. “We focus on customers and we want to build relationships. We focus on family events and pay attention to all the details.
This same attention to family has been the main mission of North Florida Yacht Sales on San Jose Boulevard in Goodbys Creek.
“My children have all grown up in this [boating]Said George Cassel, owner of NFYS. “My kids didn’t run out into the streets on weekends. We went fishing together. We waterskied together. This is one of the reasons, and I’m proud of it, my kids turned out to be as good as them.
This family approach was crowned with success at Bomar’s show last month in Savannah, Georgia.
“I mean, for me, I’m a die-hard fisherman, but this is for family and anglers,” professional redfish angler Tony Gaskin told WTOC.com of Savannah. “If you like to be on the water and boating, this is where it happens. Everything you want to watch or see is here.
The Savannah Show sold its exhibit space more than a week before the event and an increase in boat sales was reported from 2017.
Last year’s show in Jacksonville quickly took water a year ago when the city of Jacksonville refused to put it on its program on the downtown riverside near EverBank Field, as some expenses for the 2016 event were exceptional. After failing to resolve the deadlock with Current Productions ahead of its traditional place in early April in the busy boat show calendar, it ultimately resulted in mixed reviews for a May move.
Dick Boger, president of the Jacksonville Marine Association, was given nine days by the city last December to find a new promoter. He quickly chose Bomar and JBM & Associates, a 17-year-old facilities management company based in Greenville, SC that promotes four other boat shows in the Southeast. The deal included a five-year non-compete contract for future shows.
Cassel said the true measure of success will be calculated by the number of people passing through the turnstiles. And for that, he is cautiously optimistic.
“We are very excited to see how it goes,” he said. “We were the very first attendee to sign up for the other show 21 years ago. We try to be optimistic.
“Every time you spend that kind of money on a boat show, it’s very, very expensive. Most of us dealers are concerned, ” Cassel said. “The good thing is that it’s in the same place. Probably the majority of the public won’t notice a difference. Dealers will see something different.
“We need to see heavy traffic at the gate,” he said.
Another big factor that creates a lot of optimism in the boating industry is “the economy is booming right now,” Cassel said.
Boger is confident that next week’s show will rebuild some much-needed stability that will translate into increased sales.
“I had to give up the ownership of the show, the ownership and management of it,” Boger said, “It has thrilled me endlessly. I couldn’t be happier. I am very happy.
“There was a 60 mph headwind to put it all together,” he said. “If they can accomplish 80 percent of what they’ve done in the past, I would send them to the top of the class. As a boat dealer, I’m really excited.”
Bomar said she typically needed at least a year, or even 18 months, to put on a show. Sandwiched between the shows in Savannah last month and the Charleston (SC) afloat boat show a week later, the Jacksonville show has become a reality thanks to a lot of hard work.
And the attitude.
“It’s a big challenge,” Bomar said. “I didn’t want to face more than I could handle, but I felt like I had something to prove. To try to get by in four months, everyone thought we were crazy. We probably are. But we have succeeded.
“It’s going to be a strong show.”
In addition to having Yamaha on board as a presenting sponsor, JBM & Associates has nearly 60 exhibitors renting space, representing more than 50 lines of boats.
The Jacksonville In-Water Boat Show is already guaranteed to turn a profit, Bomar. There has been a late rush by vendors to buy exhibition space following a recent aggressive media campaign.
“Every boat show I’ve produced has made money, and that’s in 17 years,” Bomar said. “I have nothing to compare because it is a start-up. But we are very happy with where we are.
Which means looking to the future, not the past.
Don Coble is a St. Augustine-based freelance writer and Drive contributor.
A LOOK AT THE JACKSONVILLE BOAT SHOW
When: Friday, from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday April 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Metropolitan Park and Marina, across from EverBank Field at 1410 Gator Bowl Blvd.
Tickets: $ 10 per day for adults; $ 8 for seniors; military personnel with ID $ 5; children aged 4 to 12 $ 5; children 3 and under are free.
Schedule Highlights: Friday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. – BigJeff the Entertainer concerts. Saturday: 11 am to 6 pm – concerts with Cyrus Quaranta; 11 am – Bottom fishing seminar with Captain Chris Rooney; 11 am – Fetch-n-Fish Fishing Seminar with Jason Reynolds; noon – Captain Don Dingman’s Hook the Future Children’s Fishing Clinic with free rod and reel for each youth; 12:30 p.m. – Cobia fishing seminar with Tony Eden; 1 p.m. – Fetch-n-Fish dog show with Jason Reynolds; 2:00 PM – Mahi trolling and rigging with Craig Sutton; Captain Don Dingman’s Hook the Future Children’s Clinic; 3:00 p.m. – Fetch-n-Fish fishing seminar; 3:30 p.m. – High speed wahoo fishing seminar with Steve Grant; 5:00 p.m. – Surf fishing with Steve Grant; Dog show Fetch-n-Fish. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – concerts by Aaron Koerner; 11 am – Bottom fishing seminar with Captain Chris Rooney; Fetch-n-Fish Fishing Seminar; noon – Dog show Fetch-n-Fish; 12:30 p.m. – Cobia fishing seminar with Tony Eden; 1:00 p.m. – Captain Don Dingman’s Hook the Future Children’s Clinic; 2:00 PM – Mahi trolling and rigging with Craig Sutton; Fetch-n-Fish Fishing Seminar; 3:00 p.m. – Captain Don Dingman’s Hook the Future Children’s Clinic; 3:30 p.m. – High speed wahoo fishing with Steve Grant.
Other highlights: At least 60 dealers and over 50 boat lines on display on a 74-acre exhibition area. … Freedom Boat Club will offer free boat rides aboard the Freedom Boat Hut – one of 10 floating tiki bar boats in the United States … Guests can enjoy live music from BigJeff the Entertainer, Aaron Koerner and Cyrus Quaranta. Captain Jack Sparrow and famous pirate women Anne Bonny and Mary Read will also be on the show. … There will be food trucks on site including Treemendous BBQ, What’s The Catch, Mother Trucking Pizza, Rocco’s Pizza, Wurstbusters and Tikiz Shaved Ice, Ice Cream and Gourmet Sorbets.
More information: Visit jacksonvilleinwaterboatshow.com.