As with the Groundhog, Toronto’s annual boat show is a sign that surely spring must be coming soon. Yet, as with those famed rodents and their predictions, whatever those may be, no amount of free samples of varnish, free plastic trolleys with the purchase of soundproofing at a boat-show discount — or what else I have stored around the corners of the house, ready for deployment on our boat — seems to be speeding up the snow melt. As I gather my trade show finds all together for the upcoming rush outside in the cold to get ready for launch, let me reflect on this year’s NYC efforts at the boat-show and thank all those who helped.
At some point over the last few years the club pulled together modular aluminum display gear that gets put together like Meccano does. There is a “right” way to fit together the colourful images and inspiring selling points we have on offer.
Once VC of Marketing Merilee Wright, sailing school coach Amelia, who is becoming indispensable in the winter office, Mats Norddstrom, our chief “Style Guy” for marketing materials, and I over-discussed what the panels should say, should look like and where they should go, under the ever watchful eye of Sam Glass to keep us in line, then, we were ready for the show. On the day of set-up, Sam and Amelia with Brian Mackay and Tom’s help, together we got the gear down and out the door, over to the show and looking pretty in an order and shape that made us look good. And although there were close calls, none of us got run over by the monster power-boat trailers being moved into the cavernous halls of the exhibition space. It got close once or twice.
New this year were the fabulous new Marketing brochures and inserts designed by long-time crew member Faith Seekings. With our focus square on new members and the sailing school, we also created two landing pages for curious attendees to go to in order to learn more about our club. If you haven’t seen these new materials yet, I encourage you to take a look at them – they are located on the credenza under the stairs in the lobby.
There was a great group of member volunteers (too many to name, but they were all great) to help make sure there were always a few people together at our booth. When a domestic water disaster hit one volunteer on the day of Ian Hunter’s funeral, I was moved by how we help each other out at our club and how easy it was to shift help around a little to make it work. On my shifts there was a few rounds bought and jokes made during some really positive interaction with potential new members. Our efforts resulted in over 50 people signing our ‘book of interest and follow up’ with over half of those interested in slips. A big thank you to each and everyone.
I roped Oliver Bertin of Whimsy and Silvio Conte of Fire Escape to brave the icy cold of the last evening and we broke the gear down without resorting to hacksaws or hammers. Nor did we slip on the ice or drop the gear on Lakeshore. Many thanks to both of them too.
Look out for the NYC Open House on March 27 when we encourage people we met at the show to come and see the club house, and consider signing up for a great experience at a great club.