TAMPA, Fla. — The International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) saw attendance increase by more than 24 percent this year, according to a release from the Association of Marina Industries (AMI), which produces the event. IMBC was held Jan. 27–29 in Tampa and hosted more than 800 participants, organizers said.
“IMBC’s attendance numbers confirm that even those marina professionals who may have been negatively impacted by the economy are willing to invest in themselves and their business,” Jim Frye, AMI’s president and chair, said in the release. “Marina operators are demonstrating their commitment to delivering a quality boating experience to their customers by attending marina-specific professional development and networking events like IMBC.”
In addition to a sold-out exhibit hall, receptions and other social events, this year’s event featured a new cigar bar that organizers said was well received by attendees. The show featured more than a dozen educational seminars on such topics as the economic environment, the future of marinas, and online social media techniques.
The event, which was formed in 2002 as the National Marina & Boatyard Conference, will next take place Jan. 26–29, 2011, at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.