The facility is celebrating 43 years of hosting events and their largest crowd for a 2-day event has been estimated at 12,000. We're looking to break the record!
Nautical Mile Magazine is the only source of coastal information in SW Florida and has a massive audience for a Nautical Expo, but we simply can't reach everyone. So, for this Expo we utilized multi-faceted promotions:
The first press release went out to over 200 media affiliates statewide mid March. Another goes out late April.
WINK and NBC TV, which covers all of SW Florida, will be running ads the week of the Expo during news hours.
85,000 2-for-1 gate passes were printed and distributed through Ace Hardware Stores, various countertops, several popular restaurants put one with every dinner ticket, plus Jets Pizza locations in SW Florida put one on every pizza box. (85k @ $12 each makes this a million dollar promotion!)
300 door-posters are in store windows from Naples through Bradenton.
Our promotions specifically for this Expo on various social media platforms have reported over 1.6 million impressions between late February and mid April.
12,000 48-page event programs were printed mid April. Some are going into stores prior to the Expo with most available to the attendees the weekend of the show. A digital version is available here:
3,000 event programs were inserted into plastic bags and tossed into driveways of coastal neighborhoods.
"Sweeney's Weeney's," the most popular Sabrett Hot Dog Cart in SW Florida, made a 2X3' sandwich sign with the Expo's information for his cart location and also handed out almost 4,000 of our 2-for-1 coupons.
While most live with the perception of "Print is dead," the publishers with niche magazines offer a tremendous value. So we hand-picked a full page print ad in "Full Throttle" magazine, the cover and centerfold in Nautical Mile Magazine, the cover of the 30,000+ circulation Florida Mariner Magazine, a full page in both Lake Okeechobee News and the Caloosa Bell newspapers, and a full page in the Pine Island Real Estate Guide's spring edition.
2,500 free gate passes will be distributed to sponsors and people who helped promote the Expo such as Ace Hardware stores who allowed us to put signs in windows and coupons at their registers.
Local police are invited to attend the Expo for free as our personal guests including Cape Coral, SW Florida Sheriff Departments, Florida Fish & Wildlife, Punta Gorda and Ft. Myers PD.
A mailer to almost 800 SW Florida coastal businesses went out early March, and the same was duplicated mid April.
Our staff has also been set up at various markets with a booth handing out brochures for the Expo, including the Nautical Flea Market at Indian River Fairgrounds in Vero Beach May 1-2.
We've dominated the first page of Google under the search term "Nautical Expo" and even Pineland Marina in Bokeelia (the busiest boat ramp in the Lee county area) allowed us to put a 7' sign at their boat ramp promoting the Expo.
5 billboards went up early April and 2 digital billboards begin May 10.
Two 15-second radio commercials are running on four stations with four completely different audiences from Everglades City through the southern end of Tampa, and several SW Florida roadside billboards are in place.
We're expecting the most traction to come from added features like a mermaid, swim suit models, $5 food trucks, alligators and RC boat races. This will attract media, which creates the "buzz" needed to make this one of the largest coastal events in SW Florida.