National Marina Day is an opportunity for local boating businesses to join forces and extend promotional reach to increase the business of boating regionally
Since the first event in 2001, National Marina Day has been a day to celebrate marinas and local boating communities nationwide. As the home port for many boaters, marina celebrations help build boater loyalty and encourage potential boaters to join the boating lifestyle.
The 2013 season marks the start of Discover Boating’s partnership with National Marina Day, promising to unite the entire marine industry in an effort to grow the business of boating. It’s the perfect time to expand on your annual marina celebrations by joining forces with area marinas, marine businesses and waterfront organizations in an effort to grow your business in boating.
Local Waterways Celebrations for National Marina Day
Most marinas are independently operated and act independently to promote their business on National Marina Day… as well as throughout the year. Competing with local marinas often necessitates this independence, but it also means that every marina needs to work twice as hard.
With the new focus of National Marina Day on growing the boating industry, teaming up with other marinas, marine businesses or organizations for a national event in support of local waterways makes sense. A collective effort can result in more visibility for recreational boating in general, which is good business for everyone in boating.
One example of local waterway marinas and businesses teaming up for National Marina Day is a Philadelphia based event called National Marina Day on the Delaware.
National Marina Day on the Delaware
The Delaware River is our local waterway and holds a special place in our hearts. The SureShade business was inspired by a lifetime of boating on the Delaware River and it remains our business home port today. As such, we have worked in association with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to become Ambassadors for the Delaware River. We launched Discover Boating on the Delaware and chose to leverage National Marina Day as our first event in support of Delaware River growth initiatives.
The Delaware River runs along the borders of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. As the waterfront for major cities like Philadelphia, Newark and Camden, the Delaware River offers easy access for boaters and is the ideal place to discover the boating lifestyle.
Expanding on the Welcome to the Water National Marina Day initiative to focus on our local body of water allows us to showcase the many marinas, yacht clubs and marine businesses in the area. The event has become “National Marina Day on the Delaware” and gives smaller marinas and marine businesses the opportunity to team up for a bigger event than they would have been able to hold on their own.
National Marina Day on the Delaware will include a variety of land and on-water activities with support from the U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary, United States Power Squadron, Delaware River Yachtsmen’s League, Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers (partner of TakeMeFishing.org), Dredge Harbor Boat Center, D&S Boat Sales and Philadelphia Boat Supply.
We have also created activities that are sure to draw local publicity and interest, like free schooner boat rides and a boat parade with prizes.
Tips for Expanding a Local National Marina Day Team
There are many local marine businesses and associations that can help you create a bigger and better event on National Marina Day. You’ll find that most will be enthusiastic contributors, eager to offer their services and showcase different aspects of boating to current and new boaters.
Here are some ideas to expand to your National Marina Day team locally:
Host marina. We chose to have the event at Penn’s Landing Marina because of its prominence on the Delaware River. Penn’s Landing plays host to many waterfront events and was the perfect location to host a large number of people, participating marinas and businesses. Choose a location that is central, easy to access and likely to create more visibility for the day.
Marinas. Smaller marinas along the waterfront will appreciate the opportunity to join in on the event at your host location (particularly if the host location is a central location likely to draw more people). If local marinas chose to host a separate event at their own marina location, cross-promote to support their plans.
Marine organizations. Engage local marine organizations like the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary that are often willing to offer free vessel safety checks and other boating information.
National partners. Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day has partnership opportunities with national companies and associations that are willing to participate in National Marina Day events – tap into these resources on their National Marina Day Event Ideas resource page.
Yacht clubs. Reach out to local yacht clubs encouraging them to participate in an effort to promote and expand their own memberships.
Marine suppliers. Offer local marine suppliers or local locations of national suppliers an opportunity showcase their products and services.
Boat and watercraft dealers. Whether associated with a local marina or independently operated, having boats or smaller watercraft at the event is a great attraction for new and current boaters. Dealers will also appreciate the boat sale opportunity.
Attractions. Team up with local companies that can help create a special attraction or activity at the event… such as schooner or tall ship rides, fishing demos, kayaks or paddle boats. A boat parade is also a great attraction to engage current boaters. Boaters are often the best advocates for the boating as they showcase their boats and their love of the boating lifestyle.
Waterway preservation or development associations. Engage any local entities that have an active interest in your body of water. Whether expanding the development along the waterfront or preserving the beauty of the environment, these advocates can bring a lot of value to the event by showcasing all that your local waterway has to offer boaters.
The benefits of teaming up to promote National Marina Day on your local waterway are endless. A collective effort will create more publicity for the overall event, draw in more people to participate and help to grow recreational boating on the local waterway where you live, work and play.
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