TAMPA - IBEX 2016 attendance was up from last year's Louisville event, but slipped from 2014, the last time it was held in Tampa.
The organizers of the International BoatBuilders' Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) announced Thursday the 2016 event, which took place in Tampa on Oct. 4-6 attracted over 6,000 registered industry professionals during the first two days of the event.
About 4,700 attended in Louisville in 2015, while about 6,900 attended in Tampa in 2014.
Organizers noted that concern over Hurricane Matthew heading toward Florida kept many local marine industry companies from attending as they had to tend to both personal and professional hurricane preparations.
Even with the storm, IBEX, the marine industry's largest technical trade event in North America, drew marine industry professionals from around the globe to learn about and explore the newest in marine innovation from 556 exhibiting companies, covering 118,000 square feet of exhibit space.
"A record breaking 750 marine professionals kicked off the event at the Industry Breakfast and heard first-hand the exciting news about the new partnership between METSTRADE and IBEX," said Anne Dunbar, show director of IBEX. "The two floors of the trade show were buzzing throughout the first two days with hundreds of new products and technologies being introduced. There was definitely a sense of excitement and enthusiasm on Tuesday and Wednesday. Unfortunately, with Hurricane Matthew bearing down on Florida many exhibitors had to leave Wednesday evening and we are closing the show at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday to give exhibitors extra time to break down their booths."
The 2017 IBEX is scheduled to take place at the Tampa Convention Center, Sept. 19 - 21, in Tampa, Fla. For more information, visit www.ibexshow.com.