CHICAGO — More companies, more networking contacts and more new products will crowd the show floor at the second annual Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show scheduled June 3-6 at the Las Vegas Hilton. National Marine Manufacturers Association, which is producing the event, announced today that exhibiting companies have increased 35 percent compared to last year's event, growing from 197 to 265.

"If it is an aftermarket accessory it's going to be at MAATS," says Sherri Cuvala, manager of exhibit sales. "With well over 100 new companies exhibiting at MAATS, there will be a much broader display of product categories and more depth to existing ones."

Product categories represented at MAATS include electronics, hardware, propulsion, personal gear, safety products, trailer parts and accessories, water sports equipment, boat care materials and more.

NMMA and IBI welcome MAATS attendees and exhibitors

The event officially kicks off on the evening of June 2 with the Welcome Reception sponsored by NMMA and international promotional partner, IBI Magazine. The reception will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 Sunday night in Ballroom D at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Business gets underway on Monday, at the first "New Product Snapshot" Breakfast. "MAATS has emerged as the premier forum for aftermarket product introductions, featuring the NMMA Innovation Awards and the daily New Product Snapshot Breakfasts where accessory manufacturers unveil their latest aftermarket products to all the buyers at the event," says MAATS Project Manager, Arlene Baxter.

The number of registered buyers at this year's event has also grown 20 to 25 percent. Baxter estimates that the distributor and mass retail buyers at MAATS represent 90 percent of the buying power of the annual aftermarket business done in North America.

Each product presented in a New Product Snapshot is automatically submitted for consideration in the Innovation Awards Program, judged by Boating Writers International. Up to nine new products will be recognized with an Innovation Award during a luncheon program on Wednesday, June 5.

For the rest of the morning, exhibitors will take part in pre-scheduled buyer-supplier meetings. "These appointments provide an excellent way to host private, one-on-one time with the industry's leading buyers," explains Baxter. "The meetings give suppliers access to the undivided attention of key marine industry buyers for their product lines."

With much of the business at MAATS taking place in more than 1,400 buyer-supplier meetings during the morning hours, exhibit hours are concentrated in the afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Launched in 2001, this format was met with open arms by attendees. "I thought the format was a welcome change from the typical show format. Four hours each afternoon was plenty of time to walk the show floor and get everything done," said Vernon High, director of Purchasing at Overton, following last year's MAATS show.

Discounted registration for MAATS is still available through May 27. For more information, visit the event website at and click "Registration" or call Judith Neary at (312) 946-6247.