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Manage the Mayhem

Hargrave 101 RPH

Browsing the tents at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show you can find basically anything you need to enhance your boating experience—the latest in electronics, the newest gear, a snappy Hawaiian shirt. You can also get overwhelmed pretty easily as they’re typically packed cheek-by-jowl with salesmen hocking the latest products. Here are a couple tips we’ve learned from years of searching the tents.

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE AFTER The best way to make the most of the vast sea of gear at the show is to come with a list. Visit www.showmanagement.com prior to the show to give you an idea of what companies will be on hand at the show. A target list and realistic budget will help.

GET REAL INSIGHT Research the products you’re interested in learning more about, and come with questions not answered in the general information available online. Company representatives at the show are a great asset if you’re prepared to take advantage of their knowledge.

PLAN YOUR ROUTE You can easily get turned around in the tents. Grab a show guide and find your targets on the map, then knock them off in an orderly manner. But keep your head on a swivel. Sticking to a plan is great, but don’t put on the blinders. We’ve found some of the coolest gear at this boat show on the way to seeing something else!