Marine Trade Association Think Tank
By: MIASF Staff
Date posted: Jun 29, 2021 Tue
MIASF participated in a virtual Marine Trade Association Think Tank in June discussing profit centers, benefits and how they survived the pandemic. Many associations rely on boat shows as the primary source of income and 2020 presented some unique challenges for everyone. Necessity is the mother of invention and that was reflected in the discussion. Grant funding was useful, with several utilizing tourism grants, with boat local campaigns, and others used the time to focus on workforce needs to expand existing training programs. One association’s membership voted to increase their dues from $625 to $2,500 in 2020 realizing the importance of a sustainable plan for the organization. Another MTA created boating videos featuring paid branded sponsors in each vignette. In an interesting twist on environmental responsibility, checking the do-good box as well as earn a profit, fiberglass boat recycling garners grant funding and a small income when the processed fiberglass boat ends up in the concrete industry or the miles of shrink wrap used to protect boats over winter is recycled instead of making the trip to the land fill. All the associations survived 2020 learning more than they wanted to about virtual, zoom, and working from home, eager to return to walking the boat show docks.