MAATS to be combined with IBEX in 2010

CHICAGO – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) will combine its Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS) with the fall 2010 International Boatbuilder’s Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), it reported in a statement today.

The 10-year-old MAATS has typically been held in Las Vegas, often in conjunction with the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST). However, this year, it was held in Orlando. Attendance at this year’s event was down for the third year in a row after a peak in 2006.

In an interview immediately following this year’s event, NMMA President Thom Dammrich said that between 25 and 50 percent of MAATS exhibitors are involved in the OEM sector, and many distributors and retailers already attend IBEX. However, MAATS has been held in July because that’s when the distributors and retailers are finalizing their catalogs for the next year. To read more of Dammrich’s comments, visit the July article, MAATS stands at a crossroads.

The consolidation of MAATS and IBEX, which is owned and produced by NMMA and Professional BoatBuilder magazine, will bring together OEM and aftermarket parts and accessories under one roof, creating new efficiencies for exhibitors and attendees, according to organizers.

NMMA reported that the aftermarket accessory industry has encouraged it to consider a fall time frame for the event in recent years as it would be more conducive for introducing new products to dealers.

“After examining the existing and future landscape of the show with the MAATS Planning Committee and evaluating feedback from exhibitors, it was clear the industry would be best served by combining MAATS with IBEX,” noted Ben Wold, NMMA’s executive vice president of shows. “This is a welcome change, as it will improve efficiency in the marine trade show environment. One trade event for OEM and aftermarket parts and accessories will create a more productive environment, reduce exhibitor costs and time and attract a broader base of attendees to the show.”

IBEX organizers have also introduced Dealer Development Days this year, which allows boat manufacturers to premiere new boat models on land and in the water.

“IBEX will always be centered on boatbuilding technology,” said Carl Cramer, IBEX show co-producer and publisher of Professional BoatBuilder. “Adding Dealer Development Days and the MAATS pavilion will not detract from our core mission but will add great value for our existing exhibitors and attendees by creating new business opportunities while reducing costs.”

For aftermarket suppliers who desire a summer time frame for working with buyers, the National Marine Distributors Association (NMDA) will continue to produce the Sales, Training, Education and Purchasing (S.T.E.P.) meeting, NMMA stated.

Additional information about the 2010 combined MAATS and IBEX show, including registration details, features, floorplan layout and show hours, will be announced in the coming weeks, according to organizers. Information about the 2009 IBEX is available at www.ibexshow.com.

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