2004 IBEX Bigger Than Ever

Attendance was up significantly, and many exhibitors reported strong sales during the 2004 International Boatbuilders’ Exposition and Conference held Oct. 25-27 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Co-produced for the second year by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Professional Boatbuilder magazine, IBEX attracted 5,326 people to this year’s show, compared with 4,275 last year, organizers reported.
IBEX organizers provided exhibitors with about 125,000 square feet in additional floor space for this year’s show, and said pre-registration for the event was up 27 percent from last year.
“It was far and away the best show we’ve ever experienced,” IBEX co-director Carl Cramer said.
Cramer said attendance could grow again for IBEX 2005, as organizers have scheduled next year’s show to take place one week earlier than the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which began the day after the 2004 IBEX ended.
Several exhibitors expressed concerns that the shows were too close together this year, making it difficult for those who wanted to set up displays at both.
“I think, for the boat builders, it works really well, being backed up, but for the exhibitors it’s very, very difficult,” said Ned Trigg, OEM director of Environmental Systems for Dometic Corp. “We had this massive booth, and it’s very difficult to set up and take down quickly.”
NMMA President Thom Dammrich knows how hard it is to keep everyone happy.
“Next year IBEX is the week before the Ft. Lauderdale show and some people are concerned about that. There are some who won’t make two trips,” Dammrich says. “As I like to say, ‘Everybody in this industry has the perfect solution to every problem. They’re just not the same solutions.’”
IBEX 2005 is scheduled to be held Oct. 19-21, while the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is scheduled for Oct. 27-31. — Jonathan Mohr

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