Boat-Park.com — The Virtual Trade Show That Never Sleeps

Operating 24-hours a day. seven days a week. WebPark Corp.'s Boat-Park.com offers customers with seamless online services — melding together the online boating/marine community manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, marinas and trade associations. The site, which is a "webable" (ASP) software application, provides the infrastructure that enables B2B marine customers to partake in newsgroups, e-letters and forums that include live events. WebPark Corp.

establishes virtual industrial communities called WebParks. which are divided into sectors inhabited by companies, trade magazines and industry associations.

bring members of a specific market into a virtual industrial zone.

The WebPark software component boasts a market search engine that assists a customer in conducting precise searches of data, products and service offerings of an entire industry. A suite of tools, including WebPark Order, Web- Park Extranet and WebPark Data Management allow members to conduct active e-business. Based in Boston, Mass., WebPark's Boat-Park is a U.S.

subsidiary of the parent Web Park AG located in Germany. "The multi-faceted operation," according to Web Park COO Peter Atwood, "is user friendly for boat manufacturers who want to purchase parts, supplies and components." Atwood is speaking of the site's function as a virtual trade show that allows members to log on and access Boat- Park's database of suppliers, which directly links them to each company's own Web site. Here users will be able to peruse through each company's home page, which includes anything from the latest company news to new product releases — the same sort of information that would be present at a company's trade show booth — hence a "virtual trade show where members can present and sell their products and services to potential customers.

While many Internet companies have been hard-pressed to keep their financial head above water, Atwood is certain that the WebPark innovation will not experience the same fate, specifically because of its modest approach into the dot.com marketplace — unlike some new Web start-ups. the company didn't "spend too much money, too fast." If anything the company is on the brink of expansion, rather than destruction, as Boat-Park plans to introduce the newest version of its site — the five button implementation — which is being touted as more user friendly with additional e-procurement. The company is also working to expand its services beyond the recreational market by further delving into the commercial arena.

According to Atwood, markets that expect to be targeted by the site will include ferries and tug boats.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 12,  Apr 2001 marine HVAC technology

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