By Adam Quandt
After a one-year hiatus, the Miami International Boat Show made its triumphant return in mid-February with new partners, new venues and plenty to take in over the five-day show.
With the 2022 show came its return to Miami Beach, after being held at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin on Virginia Key since 2016. The show took place over six venues including the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center.
Early reports from NMMA said that over the course of the show, exhibitors welcomed over 100,000 visitors across the six different venues.
This year’s show was the first in a new partnership between the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Informa Markets and the International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA), which brought together the forces of the Miami International Boat Show, the Miami Yacht Show and SuperYacht Miami to create one super event.
“The 2022 Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show was a historic success, welcoming over 100,000 guests to the largest boat and yacht event in the world and placing South Florida as the top boating and yachting destination,” said Andrew Doole, president of U.S. boat shows with Informa Markets. “We are grateful to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the International Yacht Brokers Association, and all of our local partners for working diligently with our team to deliver a seamless and enjoyable experience for all attendees.”
The 2022 event was also the first boat show of many to be integrated with the Discover Boating brand, aiming to attract the next generation of boaters, along with engaging current boaters.
“The reimagined, re-branded Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show was a resounding success and couldn’t have come at a better time, bringing all facets of the recreational boating industry together to deliver a world-class, one-of-a-kind experience to boaters from all walks of life,” noted Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “We are grateful for our partners and look forward to building off of the 2022 event to continue to deliver the best of boating to hundreds of thousands of boating enthusiasts from around the globe for years to come.”
During the Opening Night Industry Bash, the NMMA and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas debuted the 2022 Discover Boating campaign with the theme of “See You Out Here,” creating a unifying voice addressing the changing interests of boaters and prospective boaters.
“Our new campaign is an invitation to boaters and those interested in exploring boating, to join us on the water and experience the adventures and joy that only boating can provide,” said Ellen Bradley, senior vice president of NMMA. “We learned through extensive research of legacy, new and prospective boater behaviors and motivations that their interest isn’t on the boat but where it takes you. Those learnings informed our creative approach and all aspects of our new campaign.”
The new campaign was also shown to industry members during the NMMA Industry Breakfast, presented by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation the following day.
During the annual breakfast, NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer presented his State of the Industry address, where he shared anecdotes and data from across the industry to a variety of industry stakeholders.
“There is so much to celebrate this year,” Hugelmeyer said during the address. “We’re back in Miami after being disrupted last year and the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show has become the largest boat show in the world. The industry is healthy, many in the industry are experiencing record years. Order books are very strong, with some as much as 12 months out or more. And consumers are showing a very sustained and high interest in boating.”
In keeping with celebrating success in the industry, the NMMA also presented a variety of awards during the Industry Breakfast including the 2022 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award, the Marine Industry Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Awards and the 2022 NMMA Innovation Awards.
Showcasing the newest
In true Miami Boat Show fashion, exhibitors used the show’s large stage to shine a light on and officially unveil some of the newest boats, engines and products around the industry.
From an electric day boat from Ingenity, a new partnership – and engine – from MasterCraft and Ilmor, to new boat models from Scout, Boston Whaler, Formula and many more, manufacturers certainly made up for missing one year in Miami with a pile of new products.
And innovations led to a multitude of sales throughout the show, with many exhibitors reporting record results from this year’s event.
“Miami is a bellwether early season show and Brunswick and all our brands had an outstanding event,” said Dave Foulkes, Brunswick Corporation CEO. “Our Company has the tools to bring to life distinctive new marine products and experiences, an ability which is further enhanced by the product portfolios and capabilities of our recent acquisitions, including Navico and RELiON. Miami provides the forum for us to demonstrate this to our global industry customers and channel partners, and to end-consumers.”
“We’re incredibly pleased with the success we encountered during the show,” added Scout director of sales & marketing Alan Lang. “We have continued to set new retail sales records each year at MIBS since 2015. In 2020, we had 16 models on display and had a banner year at that time. This year we - like everyone in the industry - are continually battling supply chain hurdles, but to showcase less than half of our full product lineup on display and yet still achieve our best MIBS ever, it truly speaks to our brand, our team and our continued push for innovations.”
With strong attendance and record sales and business for many exhibitors, it looks as if boat shows are coming back with a vengeance to meet a continuing demand for customers to get out on the water as soon as they can.
The 2023 Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show is slated to return on February 15-19, 2023.