LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference kicked off with an exciting start this week.
The industry breakfast on Tuesday began with the recognition of 15 companies who have been exhibitors at IBEX for all 25 shows since.
Judges from Boating Writers International (BWI) presented eleven Innovation Awards to representatives from Xtreme Tower Products/Marine Accessories Corporation, Dowco, Syntec Industries, Termodinamica SRL, Attwood Corporation, Mercury Marine, Reverso Pumps Inc., Simrad-Navico, Medallion Instrumentation Systems and Blue Gas Marine for the most innovative products on display at this year’s IBEX Show.
The breakfast concluded with an entertaining speech from Baseball Hall of Fame Catcher Johnny Bench who talked to the standing room only crowd of marine industry professionals about his Vowels of Success Formula including accountability, effort for excellence, inspiration, opportunity and use of knowledge.
The doors to the exhibit floor opened on Tuesday at 10 a.m., where attendees walked the aisles to see many of the new and award-winning products from 550 exhibiting companies, of which 110 exhibitors who are first-time exhibitors. Boating Writers International members selected 15 of the show’s best new products for a Pitch the Press event that showcased such innovation as an ISM Intelligent Steering Moduct from Isotta-IFRA to an Exhaust Noise Reducer from Centek to Self-Cutting Zip Ties from Marico/MasterVolt and a Prop Chock from JOHNNY5.
Dozens of Millennials in the marine industry participated in the Marine Millennial Program where they gathered to connect, learn, share and expand their presence in the industry. They gathered in the lounge to hear from Rob Parmentier, President/CEO, Marquis Larson Group who provided tips on how to succeed in the industry by offering new ideas, saying yes to all opportunities and getting involved in the industry.
At the end of the day the industry gathered at the Composite Challenge & Cocktail Competition, which took place in the Composite Pavilion on the show floor. Attendees awarded the best cocktail to HK Research who won first place, BoatLife who won second place and PRO-Set who won third place. Gary Davis of Jarrett Bay Boat Works in Beaufort, N.C., won the attendee challenge. At the close of the show floor, the industry attended several networking events the Opening Night Party at Fourth Street Live!.
On Wednesday, September 16 there were dozens of special events including the ABYC’s Coffee and Compliance Session, a live interactive demonstration at the Connected Boat Pavilions, the Bourbon and Brew Happy Hour and Rock the Yacht Pre-Party. On the show floor attendees visited The Connected Boat, the 3D Digital Workshop and the Composites One Pavilion.
The exhibit hall will be open on Thursday, September 17 from 10 am to 3 pm with the IBEX Seminar Series starting at 8:30 am.