The International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference, which took place Sept. 19-21in Tampa, Fla., attracted nearly 6,500 marine industry professionals, a 4 percent increase over 2016.
International professionals made up over 7 percent of the attendance from more than 50 countries. Show organizers reported an increased number of no-shows for 2017, acknowledging the impact Hurricane Irma had on many registrants’ ability to attend.
"I'm so relieved we could keep IBEX on schedule and thrilled the industry supported our decision," said Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director. "Coming together so soon after Irma was difficult, but it was the right thing to do. Tampa needed us here, and our industry needed to gather. It was important for us to recognize the impact Irma had and we are happy we were able to make a donation to Feeding Tampa Bay and host a special session on hurricane recovery. From everyone at IBEX, a big thank you to marine industry for your support and participation."
The event also reported a 9.7 percent increase in the number of exhibiting companies with over 600 companies filling 123,435 square feet of exhibit space. Only 13 exhibiting companies were unable to be at IBEX due to impacts from Hurricane Irma. The full IBEX dock build-out was unable to be implemented, but due to help from the Tampa Convention Center, the permanent docks were available. In spite of this, there were 24 boats used to display marine equipment on the water.
IBEX is scheduled to return to Tampa, Fla., Oct. 2-4, 2018. For more information, visit IBEXShow.com.