Representing the first major marine event to take place since April, the 61st Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show wrapped up its five-day outdoor show with hundreds of exhibitors and boats on display across nearly 90 acres and six city sites.
The show's COVID-19 safety measures included mandatory face coverings and social distancing, a contactless ticketing system, added and expanded entrances, widened docks, ongoing cleaning of all areas before, during and after each day’s events, plus numerous hand sanitizing stations and CDC signage posted throughout the event.
“FLIBS has been a huge success for us, especially considering the challenging circumstances, and has exceeded our expectations in sales activity and attendance,” said Pat Healey, president and CEO, Viking Yachts. "FLIBS is an extremely important part of the industry and we support it 100%.”
“We saw more customers in our booth than we expected,” said Robert Nye, sales and brand manager for Aviara Boats. “The traffic isn’t as high, but there is a much higher percentage of buyers truly looking to buy a boat and we were able to spend more quality time with buyers.”
“The AquaZone at FLIBS has been huge for us to demonstrate our product live in the water and has captured the attention of all and brought buyers to our booth,” said Rudi Miklosvary of Fliteboard, an electric hydrofoil surfboard manufacturer. “The quality of attendees has improved from last year; we saw more real buyers and less folks coming to simply look. We expect to meet or exceed our number of units sold over last year.”
An additional highlight of this year’s FLIBS included the return of NBC Sports Group, who filmed a one-hour network special. It aired on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 4:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network, and on demand via NBC Sports and NBC Sports YouTube. The special reached over 90 million U.S. households and also provided an inside look at Viking Yacht’s 54 Convertible, which was crowned the 3rd annual Best of Show winner.