The Sacks Group reports a successful Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
Photos by Gary Beckett
Blame it on the harvest moon, which shone brightly on the gleaming megayachts lining the show docks, or on a growing feeling of optimism following a challenging year, but The Sacks Group Yachting Professionals (TSGYP) reported very positive results following the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), October 29-November 2, 2009. A highlight was the “Yachting, It’s A Golden Life” VIP Party and Yacht Hop that TSGYP hosted to celebrate the show’s Golden Anniversary.
“The boat show opened with high expectations that were exceeded throughout the ‘Full Moon’ weekend of activity on the docks, particularly at our location at The Las Olas Marina, A-Dock/Dock-1,” said Jennifer M. Saia, The Sacks Group President and Charter Specialist. “We had more qualified charterers and owners than ever before in attendance – another good indicator that 2009 could wind up being a good year, despite all the dire predictions from last winter, and 2010 even better.”
TSGYP Charter and Brokerage team members did plenty of advance work to bring clients to the show, sending out more than 200 information packages and 500 show tickets. Many of the firm’s clients also took advantage of TSGYP’s popular “Tour the Show with a Pro” initiative, which invites clients to take a behind-the-scenes tour of yachts available for charter and/or brokerage with one of the firm’s experienced brokers or charter agents.
“I was particularly busy escorting serious clients and prospects through the many exciting charter yachts at our display and throughout the rest of the show, ” said Saia, adding that several charter bookings and at least two pending yacht sales resulted directly from FLIBS. She added, “As with any boat show, the real work begins afterwards with follow-up,. The final results of all this effort will be seen later in the year.”
The high point of any boat show is a chance to entertain your clients. So, TSGYP put all their creative efforts into throwing a VIP Party for clients and friends. More than 200 people turned out for this gala event, entitled “Yachting, It’s A Golden Life”.
The party was held at TSGYP’s display at the Las Olas Marina, where five luxury charter and/or brokerage motor yachts from the firm’s elite fleet –Calypso, Java, Mia Elise, Mostro and Goose Bumps –were decorated for the occasion. Guests were greeted by Saia and her staff, decked out in elegant evening attire courtesy of Fort Lauderdale’s Essentials Boutique, which also displayed its jewelry and handbag collection aboard Mia Elise during the event. Key sponsors of the glittering event also included IMA Yachts, which recently entered into a strategic marketing alliance with TSGYP, Elite Traveler magazine, which once again utilized Java as its host yacht during the show; Patron Tequila; One & Only Resorts, and the British Virgin Islands International Finance Centre.
A live jazz trio played on the dock while partygoers strolled from yacht to yacht. Guests posed for souvenir photos at the “Fun-Foto Station” and were treated to stogies from Ultimate Cigars, hand-made by a Cigar Roller seated on Calypso’s cockpit. Colorful artworks by Dan Caldwell Studio depicting scenes from The Bahamas made a fitting backdrop to the festivities.
Each yacht in the TSGYP display welcomed guests with a signature cocktail prepared using one of Patron’s Silver or Gold Tequilas, Pyrat Rum or Ultimat Vodka as a delicious ingredient, while passed hors d’oeuvres demonstrated the culinary skill of the chef aboard every boat. Sundecks and flybridges made fabulous platforms for viewing the sunset and later, the moon.
At the end of the evening, Saia announced the lucky winner of the party’s raffle – the prize was a three-night stay at one of Ultimate Escapes’ 140 properties within their Destination Clubs, a value of up to $6,000. “The incredible group of guests we hosted and the caliber of the sponsors show what an upscale event our annual VIP party has grown into,” Saia commented. “We look forward to many more to come.”