BROOKLIN, Maine — The International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) will relocate to the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville beginning in 2010, organizers reported in a statement this morning.
After seven years in Miami Beach, Professional BoatBuilder magazine (PBB) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), along with an industry-based advisory committee, made the decision to relocate following months of site reviews and analysis. IBEX 2010 will be held Sept. 28-30 in Louisville, Ky.
“Over the years, our attendees and exhibitors have expressed increasing concerns about the high costs in south Florida,” said Carl Cramer, IBEX show co-director and PBB publisher. “Our primary duty as show producers is to keep our constituents happy, and to produce a high-quality trade show. We are confident our location in Louisville will prove to be a successful new beginning.”
Cost savings for exhibitors and attendees was the primary motivation for the show’s change in location, according to organizers. Lower producer facility costs will provide exhibitors a reduction in exhibit space and labor costs. Labor rates at the Kentucky Exposition Center will be down as much as eight to 10 percent from the Miami Beach Convention Center, they reported. In addition, Louisville hotel rates, as well as food and beverage costs, often chief concerns with the Miami Beach venue, will likely see more than a 20-percent reduction with the new location, organizers stated.
“IBEX has had a tremendous run in Miami Beach, however, given recent changes in today’s economy and the boating industry, we felt show exhibitors and attendees would benefit from the move to a more central location that will help lower their costs to participate,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “While several cities and venues were considered, Louisville and the Kentucky Exposition Center were identified as the best fit for IBEX.”
The Kentucky Exposition Center is the sixth largest convention facility in the U.S., currently hosting seven of the country’s top 30 trade shows, organizers reported. The facility, which was recently expanded, can accommodate IBEX exhibitors, attendees, and activities, as well as the new MAATS Aftermarket Pavilion, while allowing the show room for future growth.