Boat show season is here, and the New England Boat Show moves into the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center next week. If you plan to go to the show, or to the Miami show the following week, here are some tips to make the most of your visit ….
DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU GO TO THE SHOW. The major boat shows all have an official web page complete with everything you need to know about arrival, directions, parking, exhibitor lists and more. Here’s the link for the Boston show: http://www.newenglandboatshow.com. Use the guide to find the displays you are interested in and save wasted steps by making a general plan before arrival. If you know there are specific brands you are interested in, or want to shop with your broker, contact him or her ahead of time and make an appointment.
WEAR THE RIGHT SHOES. Comfort is key because you will be doing a lot of walking.. Consider also that you will be taking your shoes on and off all day to board and view various yachts, so think of what style would work best for you. Lacing and unlacing sneakers works for some, but irritates others. If you won’t be comfortable in bare feet on board a boat, some wear socks or bring slippers or shoe covers. In general, heels are not a good idea. There are often spaces between decks and steep ramps and stairs so flats or wedges usually work better than heels.
GOING TO MIAMI? DON’T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN, SUNGLASSES AND HAT. No one wants to leave the show with a sunburn, or a headache from squinting in the sun all day or, worse, have to leave early because of the heat! We’re lucky to have options today and many sunscreens come in easy roll-on or packets and for the shade: what’s your favorite: visor, sunhat, cap – whatever works for you!
BRING A TOTE BAG. Show sponsors often give away plastic totes to carry info in, and that may work for you. But sometimes those plastic handles get tiring and hot and it’s hard to tell your tote apart from another. Bring a tote from home, a canvas boat bag, backpack or one of those handy foldable totes if you are a collector of hand outs and like to take your time reading through info later at home. It is that day and age, though, so be prepared to have your bag searched when you enter the show.
WATER: A refreshment stand may not always be there when you want it – and they can be expensive. Put a water bottle in your tote that you can refill so you can have a sip of water when you need it most.
DON’T FORGET YOUR CAMERA OR CAMERA PHONE. Photos will help you remember what impressed you so much! And, whether it’s a notebook, your smart phone, tablet…. bring something to keep notes so you can jot down what you’ve seen, what you may want to research more, plug in contact information and more.
WHAT THE HECK. BRING A CHECK. If there is a possibility you will buy something during the show, your checkbook might come in handy as some manufacturers offer boat show specials. Whether making a deposit on a new boat, or just taking advantage of sale prices on clothing, safety equipment, etc., make sure you have a check or credit card – just in case.