Fishing & Boating News

MAATS 2004 Expected To Feature Most New Products Ever

by: Dan Green, NMMA Staff,

(Apr. 07, 2004 - CHICAGO, IL) The Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS), held in conjunction with the National Marine Distributors Association (NMDA) S.T.E.P. event July 7-8, will host nearly 300 exhibitors this year, more than 20 percent of which are presenting at MAATS for the first time. Besides new exhibits, National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), organizer of the show, is giving exhibiting companies more opportunities to introduce their new products to buyers participating in MAATS, being held July 8-11 at the Las Vegas Hilton.

"MAATS is the only tradeshow dedicated to marine aftermarket accessories and has become the annual event for introducing new products," says NMMA Trade Show director Jennifer Thompson. "All the features that make the show a success are returning in 2004, with some additions and improvements to help attendees and exhibitors get the most out of their time in Las Vegas."

New Product Previews (formerly New Product Snapshots) return, giving accessory suppliers the opportunity to present their new products to a group of more than 120 hosted buyers and media. Each product presented is automatically considered in the NMMA Innovation Awards program, the recreational boating industry’s highest honor for product excellence. And, all new products entered into the NMMA Innovation Awards will be featured on the event web site, displayed on-site as part of a new product showcase and listed in the official event directory as part of a special new product section.

Buyer-supplier meetings follow New Product Previews the first day. The most popular feature of MAATS, these unique meetings give accessory suppliers the opportunity to meet with buyers in a private setting to discuss their new products. Last year, more than 2,000 meetings were scheduled as part of S.T.E.P. and MAATS.

Show dates were shifted to avoid travel over the July 4th holiday resulting in a slight change in the show's format. Exhibit hours will begin on the second day of the show, while New Product Previews and buyer-supplier meetings kick off the four-day event on July 8. On Friday and Saturday, July 9 and 10, exhibit hours are from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., then from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Sunday. "Before the exhibit floor even opens, many exhibitors at MAATS will already have had a successful show due to their participation in the New Product Previews and buyer-supplier meetings. Each year, more buyers attend MAATS because it is the place to see the newest products in the accessory aftermarket, and the format gives them the opportunity to see a number of suppliers in a short period of time," says show manager Kathleen Clickett.

Participating exhibitors and buyers at MAATS prefer a July event, since it provides buying companies the opportunity to incorporate new products seen at MAATS into their programs for the following year. NMMA recently announced that the show will continue to be held in July through 2007 at the Las Vegas Convention Center at the same time as the American Sportfishing Association’s ICAST event.

Dates for the next three years are:

  • July 20-22, 2005 (need STEP dates)
  • July 19-21, 2006 (need STEP dates)
  • July 18-20, 2007 (need STEP dates)
For more information on MAATS contact Clickett at (312) 946-6252;