Videos posted on social media as part of Virtual Fleet Week New York 2020 were viewed by more than 170,000 people from May 20 to May 26, allowing the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps to show off their capabilities to at least 66,000 more people than they were able to through in-person ship tours and aircraft demonstrations the previous year.
Virtual Fleet Week New York was held on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to give New York City residents and the tri-state area a way to take part in the city’s annual celebration of sea services despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Dozens of pre-recorded and live videos were posted on Fleet Week social media accounts and were viewed more than 210,000 times throughout the week, nearly tripling the 73,000 views achieved last year when videos were posted in addition to in-person events. Content posted across all platforms, including photos, graphics, videos, Instagram stories and text, reached more than 2 million people and resulted in more than 4.4 million impressions.
"These numbers show Virtual Fleet Week New York was a resounding success," said Rear Adm. Charles W. Rock, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. "This was a new experience for everyone involved. While there’s no substitute for meeting our Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen in person, this was a great way for the public to connect with us during these challenging times."
Fleet Week New York has been held nearly every year since 1984 and typically involves public ship tours, band performances and school visits. Last year, about 103,000 people took tours of ships moored throughout the city or saw aircraft displays at various parks and schools.
Inclement weather, capacity aboard ships and the hours tours are available to the public can all affect in-person attendance figures from year to year.
"Virtual Fleet Week showed that when we return to New York, we can provide even more options for the public to interact with us in a manner that’s convenient for them," Rock said.
Videos posted to social media as part of Virtual Fleet Week New York included tours of the guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58), as well as the U.S. Coast Guard cutters Coho (WPB-87321), Katherine Walker (WLM-552) and Shrike (WPB-87342).
Viewers were also shown the unmanned MQ-8 Fire Scout helicopter, were introduced to a helicopter pilot with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron FIVE “Nightdippers,” listened to a narrated Coast Guard search and rescue demonstration, and were taken inside a hangar where an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye pilot, naval flight officer and maintainer answered questions live on Facebook.
All videos posted to Fleet Week New York social media accounts will remain online and available at www.fleetweeknewyork.com.