OMC IMTEC98 Coverage


OMC announced the day before the show (Sept 30), Robert (Bob) Gowens formerly General Manager of Mercury Marine's Quicksilver unit will be an OMC VP and President of North American Engine operations. The press release is on our OMC News Page.

OMC's exhibit booth was incredibly bizarre for an engine/boat manufacturer's booth. A large stage in the middle with seating for an audience hosted a Riverdance show and other performers showing the latest in OMC branded apparel. It was a cross between a clothing show and a state fair! The stage was covered with a huge umbrella. Rotating lights projecting various OMC logos.

The Riverdance show certainly drew a crowd and the music penetrated the exhibit hall. It was enjoyable, but what in the heck did it have to do with boating????


Upon my return, I found a message posted in the rec boats newsgroup that summed it up. It is reproduced below.

Date: Sun, 04 Oct 98
Subject: OMC at IMTEC boat show
For anyone who attended the IMTEC (trade show) in Chicago 
this past week...what was up with OMC's booth?  They 
showed no outboards (or boats) at all in their booth.  They 
had River Dancers, jugglers and singers but no products??? 
 At first I thought maybe they were trying to cut their show budget 
but the carnival they put on had to cost more than shipping a few
engines.  Not to mention the army of employees they had standing 
around. So since it couldn't have been a budget issue, what 
were they thinking?  Going to a boat show with no products?  
Doesn't make much sense to me (or everyone else that I talked 
with).  The general concensus from everyone I spoke with was
that OMC was going down the tubes fast and this was just one 
more indication of it.  That and the comments about OMC giving 
it's dealers a song & dance routine for years and they just decided 
to have it "live" at a boat show
Anyone else have any idea what they were doing?

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