How To Prepare For Your Boat Show Visit

It’s boat show season and apart from the fact that our team is getting very little sleep right now, it’s also the perfect time of the year for you to come and see that Cobalt boat you’ve been eyeing, in person.

A boat show is an ideal opportunity for both new and existing boat owners to see the latest that the boating industry has to offer, all in one place. It’s a chance for you to examine the newest Cobalt boat models up close so you can experience their features, such as the striking Obsidian Windshields that come as standard on certain new models. Or our award-winning Autodeploy Galley that rises up from beneath a bench seat with the touch of a button.

However, whether you’re a boat show veteran or preparing to visit your first boat show, it pays to be fully prepared for the event and that means taking some time to plan ahead.

To help you get the most out of your boat show visit, here’s our comprehensive guide on how to prepare for it:

1. Research the Show Beforehand

Before you head off to visit the show, familiarize yourself with what the show has to offer. This means knowing the venue and the exhibitors and being aware of the schedule of events.

Understand the Layout and Exhibitors:

Start by visiting the boat show’s official website. Make a mental note of the layout of the show, the list of exhibitors – especially the location of the Cobalt Boats exhibit – and the types of boats that will be on display. This research will give you a clear idea of what to expect and will help you prioritize which booths and areas you want to visit. For some of the larger shows, this is the only way to ensure that you can see the boats that are relevant to you when you visit.

Check the Schedule of Events:

Boat shows often host seminars, demonstrations, and special events. Check the schedule in advance and note any events or seminars that interest you so that you can plan them in to your visit.

2. Set Clear Objectives

A key aspect of your pre-show preparation is to make sure that you’re clear about what you hope to achieve at the show, as this will help you to extract maximum value out of your time and interactions while there.

Define Your Purpose:

Are you attending to buy a new Cobalt boat, look for accessories, or just visit for the experience? Setting clear objectives for your visit will guide your activities at the show and help you allocate your time efficiently.

Create a Wishlist:

If you’re in the market for a boat – preferably a Cobalt – then list the features you are looking for. Consider the size, type, any other preferences, and clarify your budget. This list will be a valuable quick reference when comparing different boats at the show.

3. Budgeting

Like anything else, boating is at least partly about budgeting. If you’re planning to purchase a boat then you must decide on a budget beforehand. Therefore, a successful boat show visit involves not only understanding the pricing of the boats on offer but also the price range in which you’re shopping.

Remember to factor in additional costs like fuel, insurance, maintenance, and dock/dry stacking fees.

Pro tip: Boat shows are known for special offers and discounts, so go to the show prepared to negotiate, and don’t hesitate to ask exhibitors about show specials.

4. Dress Appropriately

An enjoyable boat show experience is also dependent on what you’re wearing. The right clothing and shoes can mean the difference between irritation, frustration, sunburn, and needless delays, and a smooth, enjoyable visit. Here are our tips:

Comfortable Attire:

Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, and you might want to board various boats–which often requires removing shoes–so if you can, try to avoid shoes with complicated laces or shoes that are difficult to take off or put back on.

Weather-Appropriate Gear:

Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. If the show has outdoor exhibits, you might need a hat, sunglasses, or a raincoat, depending on the weather.

On that note, be sure to pack some sunblock and reapply it frequently if you’re going to be outdoors. We want you to leave our stand with the information you need and excitement about our products; not sunburn!

Take Notes, Photos & Business Cards:

With so many boats and products to see, it’s easy to forget the details of particular boat models and products you might have looked at, before you have even left the venue.

To avoid that from happening, be sure to take notes and photos of boats and products that interest you. This information will be invaluable when you review your options after the show. Additionally, for the same reason, don’t be shy to ask for business cards. Sales representatives will be happy to share their cards with you following an in-person introduction, and having their cards on hand will make it that much easier for you to contact them and have follow-up discussions with them after the show.


A boat show visit is an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience, especially if you go prepared. By doing your research beforehand, setting clear objectives, understanding your budget, dressing mindfully, and actively engaging with exhibitors, you’ll ensure that your visit is both enjoyable and fruitful. Remember to take notes, stay within your budget, and most importantly, enjoy the unique world of boating and boating products that the show offers.