Nautical Distancing: Age of the Virtual Boat Show

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At a time when most people are dreaming about being in public without hand sanitizer, it makes sense that marine enthusiasts are increasingly fantasizing about feeling liberated, rather than cooped up, spending days with family members on a boat.

Active Interest Media’s Marine Group is looking to leverage its robust digital engagement by producing a Virtual Boat Show that will connect boaters, who are tired of being contained, with dealers, manufacturers and other entities.

No one is better suited to energize these customers than AIM. “We have seen a 28 percent increase over the last year in engagement from the 1.5 million active boaters the company reaches across our titles (including Anglers Journal, Outboard, Passagemaker, Power & Motoryacht, SAIL, Soundings, Soundings Trade Only and Yachts International,”) according to the company.

“AIM has been working to enhance our digital capabilities for several years now, and those capabilities have only been made more relevant by this pandemic that is forcing business to the sidelines,” said AIM Marine Group President Gary DeSanctis. “Having a way to digitally meet customers where they want to be—and where they have to be for at least the near future—is critical to our industry’s overall health.”

The group has been building out its online capabilities, promoting Eric Dallin to vice president of marketing innovation last year so he and his team could focus on opportunities around shifting consumer behavior.

“We have an advantage because we know the marine space so thoroughly,” Dallin said when he was promoted. “We live and breathe boating through our publications and websites, so it made sense to offer our services to the boating industry. We think our knowledge gives us a leg up over competitors from outside the industry.”

If any time in history should help fuel interest in boating, it is now, said DeSanctis.

“Nautical distancing sounds like a great way to help stop the spread of the coronavirus,” said DeSanctis. “A boat is a natural antidote to going stir crazy.”

The anticipated launch of the "Nautical Distancing" Virtual Boat Show is set for April 15.

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