This Week’s Events: Organizers optimistic as Miami show nears

MIAMI, Fla. - With just two days remaining before the 2005 Miami International Boat Show opens, organizers say all indications point to good crowds and a strong program of exhibitors and events.

Nearly 2,200 exhibitors will be present at the show - about the same number as last year, according to Cathy Johnston, the National Marine Manufacturers Association's southern regional manager, who manages the Miami show.

“We've been lucky enough that we have been able sell pretty much every booth that we have on the floorplan,” Johnston said. “So our numbers haven't increased dramatically, only because we just don't have anywhere else to go.”

The show, which will be spread throughout three locations - the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miamarina at Bayside in downtown Miami and the Sealine Marina and Yachting Center - has expanded the amount of exhibit space it will cover.

Johnston said 50 slips have been added this year at Sealine Marina to accommodate exhibitors looking for more space. The marina will have about 315 boats on display, with nearly 100 more displayed at Miamarina.

The first, second and third levels of the Miami Beach Convention Center have been filled with exhibitors.

“We're probably going to net out over 900,000 net-square-feet sold this year,” Johnston said.

Weather not expected to be a major factor

As for the number of people expected to attend the show, organizers would like to exceed last year's total of 138,034, and Johnston said the level of interest from the general public has been high.

“One really lucky thing for us, and I'll just knock on wood while I say it, is that we are typically not ravaged by the weather, which a lot of our shows this winter have just had a horrible string of luck with,” she said. “We've had some slower attendance because of that.

“But the buzz is always about Miami. I'm getting about 40 or 50 public inquiries via e-mail every half an hour to an hour and the phones in the show office are just ringing off the hook.”

Grow Boating presentation attracts interest

Johnston said interest in tomorrow's Grow Boating presentation - during which some of the creative content, that has been developed to spur public interest in boating, will be unveiled - has also been very high.

“The company that we hired to do the creative [content] will be giving us the first sneak previews of what they expect that campaign to look like,” Johnston said. “I expect it to be fairly eye appealing and exciting. It sounds like it's very video intensive, so I think there will be a lot of stuff for people to see.”

For more information on the Miami Boat Show, visit the official Web site,

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