RBBI Awards

IMTEC 1997 Awards

After the show, I got the idea of trying to recognize some of the special efforts, situations, and products at the show. Before I begin, I would like to say a big congratulations to all the firms that attended and exhibited their products and services. The industry has a lot of turmoil and concerns. It costs a great deal of time and money to exhibit at a show like this. Congratulations to all of you !!! Here are the RBBI 1997 IMTEC Awards.

Best of Show Award - Suzuki

Suzuki had a great show. The DF60/70 4-stroke EFI Outboard won the Product Innovation Award in the propulsion category. Their booth looked very nice, they had nice uniforms, their brochure was the 2nd best OEM brochure by my judgement, and their new website is up and going. It was their year to really shine at IMTEC. We have additional coverage on our Suzuki Wins Product Innovation Award Page. Congratulations !!

Timex Award- OMC

OMC was acquired by Greenway just a few weeks ago after a lengthy period of uncertainty and a possible acquisition by Detroit Diesel. At the show their president "resigned" and a new president, David Jones, was named. With their past financial problems and all the turmoil of the industry - they showed up in force and had perhaps the largest booth area of the show. They proved they can "take a licking and keep on ticking." Thanks for staying with it in very tough times - a very big Congratulations to all the OMC folks (factory personnel and dealers and their families) !!!

Best Food Award - JETRO

After the "Exporting to Japan" workshop, JETRO (Japan Export Trade Organization) fed us a great meal. I'm still not sure if it was chicken or fish, but their were 2 very large pieces and lots of other "fixins." Even capped it off with a piece of cake. The seminar was great as well. Congratulations !!!!

Biggest Boat at the Show - Sea Ray

Sea Ray had a huge boat in their booth (Northeast corner of the South Building). It was a real centerpiece. I can barely imagine the costs and problems involved in transporting, setting up, and taking home this monster. Thanks for bringing it! Congratulations !!!!

Large Sea Ray Boat

Biggest Snobs Award - Unnamed

One company brought a huge boat, had a very nice display and would not let anybody in their booth but their own dealers. Seems to me like this is a good way to offend some folks. We will leave them "unnamed".

Biggest Thing Not Seen at the Show - Toyota Marine's Ski Boat

It was a disappointment not to see Toyota Marine's ski boat. I discussed that in depth on theToyota Page. Its quite understandable, but their booth sure looked bare without it. But I'm sure they will be ready to "kick butt" at next years show.

Best OEM Brochure - Zodiac

I was very impressed by their 1998 "Zodiac the air of adventure" catalog. It is very interesting, exciting, colorful, and hard to put down. It was about 8 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches (a little "taller" than most). Most of the feature products were show on a two page layout (8 1/2 by 23). About 2/3 of the layout was a large colorful photo of the product being used. The other 1/3 (a vertical strip at the left or right edge of the talked about how much fun you could have with this product (vs. the normal product feature list most catalogs show.) A couple insert photos were often at the top of the page overlapping in the white space used to tell me how much fun I was going to have. These photos also depicted the craft being used. Across the bottom of the page in a black banner section that overlapped the large photo and portions of the "white space" in small white type were the product specifications. The white space even had a light gray "screen" of the outline of a portion of a Zodiac running vertically up the page. The black lettering of the "fun" text was very easy to read on the white page and even where it overlapped the gary "screen". A double wide page at the end of the brochure put the technical specs of the boats all on the same page for an easy comparison. I'm just one person, but I'm saying they did a "damn good job." Congratulations !!!

person, but I'm saying they did a "damn good job." Congratulations !!!

P.S. - I noticed the Mercury Marine Quicksilver Inflatable catalog looked like they had been sharing the same photo-shoot with Zodiac. The layouts were very similar. I did like the outside and general feel of the Zodiac brochure better. Mercury may well have been the originator of the basic layout. Whoever did it, I like it.

Honorable Mention goes to Suzuki. I thought they had the best brochure until I got back home and compared them all. I had not looked at the Zodiac brochure earlier as it was buried in their press kit.

Sample pages from
1998 Brochure

Zodiac Brochure

Best Graphics at Booth and on Brochure - VMC (Vandium fishing hooks)

They were located in the "Fishing Show". The booth featured a large wall poster and their brochure was a one piece full color tri-fold flyer (made 6 normal sized pages). The graphics centered on futuristic / fantasy / robot looking fishermen. The brochure says their company has been in business since 1796. I don't know how well their hook business is going, but it looked to me like they could go into the graphics art business. Congratulations !!!

Brochure Cover

Graphic on Back
of Brochure

Biggest Event of Show - David Jones named OMC President

We have extensive coverage of this event on our David Jones Named OMC President & C.E.O. Page. Best wishes to David Jones in his new job !!!

Best "Unveiling" of the Show - MerCruiser's Horizon Engine

Several groups unveiled some new item at the show. Honda unveiled the engine meeting future emission specifications, one group unveiled a half scale "concepts boat", and MerCruiser "christened" the Horizon Engine. I thought the "christening" was a nice touch and much more exciting than pulling off a cover. Congratulations !!!

Most Memorable Exhibit - Shoe Boat

A shoe company brought a boat shaped like a shoe. It is a great exhibit. A real eye catcher, but I would paint my company name on it. I do not remember who they were. The girl in the photo was working the booth. When I told her I would show the "shoe boat" photo to my mother because I have so much trouble finding shoes (size 15), she pointed out they had several shoes available in very large sizes. Congratulations !!!

Shoe Boat

Best Uniforms- Yamaha

I did not catch a photo of them. If someone has a photo or a scan they could send, I will post it. They were sort of a light speckled brown pullover sport shirt with "YAMAHA" in orange on the sleeve as I remember them. Toyota was a close second with their nice solid blue shirts. Also "right in there" was Suzuki with some nice "water prints" on their white shirts. Congratulations !!!

Best Efforts Outside of the show - NMMA Task Forces

Over 100 people worked on the various task forces trying to find ways to attack some of the basic problems of the industry. A report on their efforts is on our MRAA Shirt Sleeve Sessions Page. A big congratulations to each and every one of them !!!

Most Novel Product at the Sport Fishing Show - Tie:

The Blackhawk canoe has electrically powered "outriggers" that can be raised for rapid normal canoe transit. They can then be lowered to greatly increase stability for fishing, standing in the boat, or entering and exiting the boat. They had a large water tank and demonstrated at their booth. They are located in Williamsburg VA. The 2 guys working the booth were very cordial and worked the crowd well. Congratulations !!!

Colonial Sport Boats Blackhawk Outrigger Canoe

Centerline Rod Systems Inc., an Anchorage Alaska based fishing rod company, makes 2 piece rods (a handle and a stem). They are eyeless, the line goes down the middle of the rod. The handle accepts different "stems" for different fishing conditions. The friction reduction (no eyes) allows about 30 % further casting. I visited with Bruce Friend (working the booth) about spoonbill snagging, an annual event each spring on the Neosho River in Northeast Oklahoma. Large rigs are used to throw treble hooks out as far as possible. His rig would allow a longer cast in that situation. He said they had been working on this new fishing rod design (centerline) for a few years and were just now getting it into production. I thought they were very interesting. Congratulations !!!

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