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Providence show sees bigger crowds

In the first year of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association’s ownership of the Providence Boat Show, the group tried to step up the show’s interactive content with the addition of sailboats, seminars and demonstrations.

The approach paid off. The 2014 show sold out and had a 15 percent increase in exhibition space sales, RIMTA executive director Wendy Mackie said. “You hate to turn people away, but it was great to have so much interest.”

A total of 9,600 people attended the Jan. 31-Feb. 2 show and ticket revenue was up 20 percent from last year.

Although the trade group had only owned the show for 100 days leading up to the 2014 event, plenty of content was added.

A new pavilion was added as a show hub, and it featured a tiki bar-style demonstration area and stage, surrounded by tiki bar tables. A backdrop hung behind the stage featuring a snippet of Rhode Island’s beautiful shoreline. The show also featured two seminar series: sportfishing, and navigation and seamanship.