Miami International Boat Show increases number of large boats at 2016 show

MIAMI — The Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show announced today an increase of 50 percent in boats 50 feet and over as the show’s new location at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin and luxury offerings position it as an ideal sales venue for yacht exhibitors.

Held Feb. 11-15, the Miami Boat Show welcomed more than 2,000 exhibitors, many of whom reported sales increases between 20 and 400 percent, as the show touted a four percent increase in attendance with 100,279 attendees.

With the show’s new Virginia Key location featuring a deep water basin, it’s able to accommodate significantly more yachts of a larger size. As a result, in addition to the increase in boats more than 50 feet, it also saw a 33 percent increase in boats more than 40 feet exhibiting in the show.

“This year’s Miami International Boat Show was a huge success for Cruisers Yachts. We had one of our best shows in recent memory contracting boats that were in the 40 foot and above category. The new location was definitely a big draw. When a customer entered the new Miami International Boat Show site, the show had the feeling and atmosphere of being in that location for many years. The amount of hard work and expertise of the Boat Show staff to pull this off in a short period of time is truly remarkable. Overall, I think this year’s show was a huge success,” noted Dan Zenz, vice president of sales of KCS International Inc.

Highlights from the Boat Show’s offerings for large yacht exhibitors include:

  • The show’s on-water location and deep water basin provided exhibitors the opportunity to feature multiple boats in one location and offer sea trials to interested clientele.
  • In conjunction with liaisons, the boat show launched a VIP lounge offering exhibitors a means of entertaining and catering to high-net-worth (HNW) clientele in a scenic setting overlooking Biscayne Bay.
  • An extensive marketing and communications campaign was able to hyper-target luxury media to attract high-net-worth individuals.
  • The boat show offered an ability for exhibitors to create custom in-booth experiences using high-end food and beverage catering and concierge services.
  • Valet parking steps from the show entrance provided a seamless experience for exhibitors’ clientele.

“From the vast deep water basin and VIP lounge to marketing efforts and concierge and catering options, this year’s Miami Boat Show proved to be an exciting new platform for attracting yacht exhibitors and ensuring them a successful event for their HNWI clientele,” noted Thom Dammrich, National Marine Manufacturers Association president, producer of the Miami International Boat Show. “Given this year’s success and the Show’s long-term ability to be a primary sales venue for the large boat category, we’re making plans now to expand yacht exhibitor offerings in 2017 and are seeking feedback from exhibitors to ensure we create the environment they want.”

The boat show is encouraging its exhibitors and prospective exhibitors to share suggestions for how to improve the event for 2017 to ensure it’s providing what exhibitors want and need. To share feedback, please contact Miami International Boat Show Assistant Show Manager and Sales Director, Larry Berryman at

An example of how the boat show used exhibitor feedback is with its VIP lounge. After surveying exhibitors seeking to provide their clientele a VIP experience, it launched the VIP lounge as a pilot program in 2016 with plans to expand it in 2017. VIP passes were offered to premier boat show attendees through exhibitors and sponsors, including Fortune International Group, a South Florida luxury real estate firm with such properties as Fendi and Ritz-Carlton Residences; The Collection, representing Ferrari; and a number of other exclusive brands. The lounge offered discerning guests a place to relax, recharge and enjoy VIP concierge services, complimentary beverages in a luxurious setting designed by Cudesso, the latest Ferrari models, and a unique restaurant offering multicultural fare.

The 2017 Miami International Boat Show will be held Feb. 16-20, 2017 at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin. Visit for further details.

For information on participating as an exhibitor in 2017, contact Larry Berryman at For information on participating as an exhibitor in the VIP lounge, contact Jennifer Thompson at For sponsorship opportunities, contact John Marcinek at

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