An Insider's Perspective of the 2018 Wharf Boat & Yacht Show
March 14, 2018
Next week, the sixth annual Wharf Boat & Yacht Show will get underway in full throttle speed.
Every year, this multi-faceted event grows exponentially in both size and character. If you've never experienced this grand display of the nation's leading marine manufacturers, vendors, and entertainment, you're in for a real treat. We've got some first-hand insight into how much fun you've been missing out on and what you have to look forward to this year!
Hold on to those captain hats as we cruise through the brain of mastermind Scott Burt, founder of Coastal Marina Management and Wheels Up Events. Burt has an extensive background in the marine industry, with over four decades of experience in marina management and special event marketing, including large purse fishing tournaments and widely recognized boat shows. He founded CMM in 2006 and the company now oversees eight state-of-the-art marinas in diverse locations.
Here is his take on the history and future of our beloved Wharf Boat & Yacht Show.
Scott, can you give us a brief background behind the Wharf Boat & Yacht Show?
Well, Coastal Marina Management officially took over the show in 2013. Our goal was to make it inherently different. We started by forming a stakeholders group of local dealers and included them purposefully. This move was extremely successful because the diverse collection of knowledgeable industry stakeholders had an actual real voice in how the show as a whole was executed, and they continue to contribute to the overall realization of each year's event. This labor of love has actually grown so much since the beginning that we constantly have to rethink the show's footprint effectively and where to fit all the eager patrons!
What would you say attracts people to this specific show compared to others nationwide?
Simple. It's a wonderfully friendly show - not at all pretentious. It is easy to get to, no matter where you reside. Plus, The Wharf is one heck of a venue to host it.
Why should both boaters AND non-boaters attend?
First of all, this is way more than just a boat show. It's a happening social event for everyone, with great entertainment, kid-friendly activities, and much more. This is the perfect chance to see and be seen. We welcome locals and travelers alike, even four-legged family members. The atmosphere is charged with excitement each day and we pride ourselves in maintaining that electric momentum. From our signature VIP Kickoff Party and red carpet on Thursday to Sunday's rousing procession with the famous Excelsior Band, we spare no expense to keep our guests entertained.
Do you expect any best sellers or new trends for 2018?
Absolutely. The big, new-generation center consoles are on fire right now, across the board. Also, pontoons, runabouts, and even stand-up paddleboards are highly coveted because people still just want to have fun on the water, more so than ever.
Should prospective attendees know anything extra special about our Boat & Yacht Show?
Believe it or not, we are the ONLY boat show that allows dogs. We treat them just like our ticket-buying guests. In the past, we've been extremely fortunate to welcome some of the most unique, loveable, boat-riding furry companions. Let's face it, most folks don't want to leave home without their pet, so why not bring them along?
How will this year's event be different?
We are going to tighten up the overall footprint by moving out of the Event Center. This change should help with the overall flow of pedestrian traffic. We always endeavor to make everything as accessible as possible. Like always, there will be dozens of the latest and greatest boats on display in and out of the water, including a really cool exotic design from South Florida. Also, we have updated to a computerized ticketing system for a smoother check-in process. This will eliminate the need for will call and individuals can buy their tickets online ahead of time and be scanned right in.
For more information, visit here. We hope to see you all aboard!