The 29th annual Yachts Miami Beach wrapped up on President's Day with encouraging reports from the docks. The show introduced new features, a new look and different layout this year, designed to deliver superior guest and exhibitor experiences. The yacht show took place from Feb. 16-20 on Collins Avenue, across from the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels.
"We are extremely pleased with the results of this year's event," said Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the company that produces and co-owns Yachts Miami Beach. "The attendance at the show exceeded our expectations in both quality and quantity. Exhibitors reported sales and quality leads. In terms of mix, we saw an increase in the proportion of yachts 50 feet and larger as exhibitors took advantage of the more targeted, upscale show atmosphere."
Spanning more than a mile along Collins Avenue from 41st Street to 54th Street, the show's new layout highlighted its waterfront location along Indian Creek Waterway. Attendees entered through seven show entrances, the first time the show charged for entry in its nearly 30-year history. The new features proved effective in attracting qualified traffic throughout the five-day event.
"Yachts Miami Beach was a solid show for us," said Bob Denison, president Denison Yacht Sales. "The people we met on the docks tended to be more serious than years past, and our team was able to walk away from the show with multiple brokerage and new boat contracts."
For the first time ever, guests arrived at the show aboard water taxis, connected to new, convenient parking locations. Foot traffic was redirected from the sidewalk along Collins Avenue to the show's network of new floating docks. A VIP Experience ticket was added for Thursday, Friday and Saturday which included access to a floating, air-conditioned VIP lounge featuring a premium open bar, gourmet food, a spa experience and a dedicated concierge to arrange appointments on board yachts directly with exhibitors.
"The new layout of the show was very positive and much more organized than previous years," said Mike Obolsky, senior vice president Intrepid Powerboats. "It was easy to direct arriving customers to our location within the show and the new gate pre-qualified the attendees. We saw many very knowledgeable boaters and our sales were up more than 50 percent over last year."
All the new features were designed to create an interactive and inviting sales environment for exhibitors and buyers, with yachts arranged in dedicated new and brokerage sections, making it easier than ever before to find specific boats.
"Yachts Miami Beach was another great event, as it has been for 29 years running. Overall, the restructuring of the venue seems to be a positive move for all concerned," said IYBA President Gary Smith. "The reports I am getting from the vendors in attendance indicate that the business resulting from the show is good. It is always a waiting game with the next 30-45 days telling the tale."
For the second year, Yachts Miami Beach included a display of superyachts at Island Gardens Deep Harbour on Watson Island, which can accommodate yachts up to 500 feet. This invitation-only "show within a show," known as Super Yacht Miami, featured 28 superyachts this year.
Yachts Miami Beach 2017 was managed, produced and co-owned by Show Management and co-owned and sponsored by the IYBA.