The first COVID-19 casualty of 2021 has arrived: Organizers of the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show have pulled the plug on the event, which was scheduled for Feb. 11-15, along with nine other NMMA shows.
Owned by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and held on Virginia Key, the show is traditionally held during Presidents Day weekend in mid-February, and was poised to celebrate its 80th annual edition. But in a press release issued by the NMMA, health concerns led to its cancellation, along with nine others.
“These decisions are in the best interest of our consumers, staff, members, and industry and are the result of months-long conversations with exhibitors, health officials, venue operators, and other stakeholders on producing safe, successful, and high-quality consumer experiences,” the statement reads. “We understand the vital role boat shows play in showcasing new products and generating sales for our industry, and at this time, NMMA expects to resume its full show schedule starting in September 2021.”
In a separate statement, prospective exhibitors were told that “the health and safety of everyone involved in producing, exhibiting and attending our show is of the utmost importance Following a thorough market-by-market analysis regarding the feasibility of producing safe, successful and high-quality consumer experiences at NMMA winter boat and sports shows in 2021, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the show.”
The news came just as the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show opened its doors for this weekend’s exhibit.