North America’s Largest Marine Industry Trade Event Attendance And Participation Exceeds Expectations
Tampa, FL – October 11, 2023 – The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced today that the Show, which closed on Thursday, October 5, exceeded expectations based on on-site traffic data and attendance figures. The three-day event saw packed aisles, full educational sessions, and well-attended networking events.
Following the difficulties of the past several years, from the pandemic to Hurricane Ian, IBEX 2023 welcomed more than 8,600 industry professionals from 70 countries. There were 6,825 visits from over 4,600 visitors with 72% coming from the United States, and 27% representing the rest of globe. Boatbuilders checked in with the highest numbers, making up nearly 30% of visitors on-site, and new product discovery was the top reason registrants reported for attending.
The annual Industry Breakfast, Innovation Awards Presentation, and Keynote, held Tuesday, October 3, was sold out and filled the room with over 900 attendees. Exceptional technological advancements were recognized, with 13 Innovation Awards given along with four honorable mentions. Products can be viewed on the online showcase. Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president, gave the State of the Industry Address and Conor Lokar, ITR Senior Forecaster, gave a timely and relevant keynote address that was very well received.
The Education Conference offered technical training from industry experts to hundreds of participants, including students attending as part of Career Day on Thursday, hosted with partner the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Foundation. The dynamic event gave over 60 students and five instructors from three Florida marine technical schools a unique glimpse into the boating industry. In addition, networking events were packed with Pitch the Press and the Carbon Conundrum panel discussion both at capacity. The Opening Night Party and Mid-Show Mixer, which took place at The Sail Pavilion after the exhibit halls closed, saw larger crowds than in past years.
“I’m a student at Manatee Tech and we were so excited to be a part of IBEX’s Career Day,” said Aaron Akel, Student, Manatee Technical College. “It was a great opportunity to see new technology and innovations and to find out what’s available for future job opportunities.”
“It was an excellent show and an amazing response for us as a new exhibitor at IBEX,” said Brian Benedict, CEO/President, WIF PRO. “We were not sure what to expect as a new startup in the industry, but our product was so well received. We won an Innovation Award and have received incredible acknowledgement for our new product. Everyone here has been so helpful and supportive. This is the show to be at!”
“I come to IBEX for two reasons: the top-notch networking and the seminar program,” said Nigel Calder, Education Conference Speaker and President, Calder Marine Enterprises. “There is nothing like it in North America – in fact I don’t think there is in Europe either.”
“IBEX 2023 was a watershed show for Radian IoT, Inc.,” said Scott Crutchfield, President and Founder, Radian IoT, Inc. “After winning an IBEX Innovation award last year, only to have to bug out due to Hurricane Ian, we felt like we had a lot of ground to make up from a momentum standpoint. Not only were our existing clients happy with the recognition, but many of those who have struggled with their proprietary telematics platforms realized that it was time to talk with Radian again. Only IBEX could deliver so many meaningful discussions with decision-makers from upper management, engineering, and purchasing.”
“We are boatbuilders so we meet our suppliers, partners, engine technicians, and learn about the latest in parts and accessories,” said Christophe Lavigne, President, Highfield Boats. “You can find everything you need for making boats right here at IBEX.”
“It’s my first time at IBEX and I came to see a lot of the vendors that we already deal with, meet some new ones, and hopefully build some solid relationships,” said Mike McCarn, Manager, River Supply Inc. “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”
“Simply stated, IBEX 2023 was the best show that Promethient has ever exhibited participated in,” said Bill Myers, CEO of Promethient. “Not only was our exhibit team busy speaking with customers during the show, but the customers themselves were well informed and sincerely interested in our innovative Thermavance technology. We are already looking forward to returning for IBEX 2024.”
“Dave Gerr’s seminar was likely the most informative talk I’ve heard at IBEX or any other conference, period. It was amazing!” said Sam Payrovi, attendee of David Gerr’s seminar Designing Boats for Electrical Propulsion.
“IBEX for us is really a big thing,” said Richard Pierce, President, Bass Cat and Yar-Craft Boats. “We get to speak to all of our vendors face-to-face, solve problems, analyze new products, and start our next year off getting ready for the next season.”
“As an OEM-dedicated vendor there is no better platform to engage with your customers than IBEX, and 2023 did not disappoint,” said Dan Soeters, Founder, Banshee Marine Audio.
“We are thrilled with the participation and enthusiasm of visitors, exhibitors, educators, and sponsors of this year’s event,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “Seeing the crowded aisles, and hearing from many exhibitors about the critical business that took place during the show was extremely satisfying. We want to thank everyone that was involved in helping make IBEX 2023 one of the best yet.”
IBEX is scheduled to return to the Tampa Convention Center, with IBEX 2024 Show dates set for October 1 – 3, 2024. For more information, visit www.ibexshow.com.
About the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX):
IBEX, Where Better Boats Begin (www.ibexshow.com), is the marine industry’s largest technical trade event in North America. IBEX is owned and produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (www.nmma.org) and RAI Amsterdam (www.rai.nl). The 2024 IBEX is scheduled to take place at the Tampa Convention Center, October 1 – 3, in Tampa, FL USA. For more information, please visit www.ibexshow.com.