The 30th International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced that attendance exceeded expectations with the return of an in-person event. IBEX saw more than 560 exhibitors, including 80 new exhibiting companies, and more than 3,200 visitors. The IBEX docks were sold out with 29 boats on display, and the expanded outdoor displays included nine demos and exhibits. In all, there were 18 exhibiting international companies, representing 12 nations including: Australia, China, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Slovenia, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. The IBEX Education Conference had more than 300 registrants who participated in over 40 pre-conference sessions and technical seminars. Additionally, hundreds of visitors took advantage of the free workshops hosted in The Tech Talk Theater on the show floor.
“It’s been great to get back here, see all the builders and exhibitors,” said Charlie Ryan, East Penn. “It’s such a special industry and we’re just so happy that we’re able to be back together this year.”
“My favorite thing about IBEX has been the networking and seeing everyone in person after two years of not being able to,” said Allyson Spease, Domestic Customer Service & Marketing, Hawkeye Industries. “We were able to get hands-on experience and see some innovative new products in person.”
“It’s been fantastic to see both our customers and our distribution partners who are here at the show and being able to connect after all this time,” said Shelly Bennion, National Sales Manager, Hawkeye Industries.
“This is our 10th year or so, it’s been quite a while, but IBEX is always a good show,” said Bill McDaniel, Sunbrella. “We’re happy to be here and happy we’re back engaging in person."
"IBEX was ADDMAN's best performing tradeshow all year on just the first day,” said Mike Shaffer, Director of Sales, ADDMAN Engineering. “The IBEX team has done a fantastic job!"
"IBEX 2021 on the first day was better for us than all three days were in 2019 combined," Jackie Ahrens, Assembly Tools Specialists Inc.
Traffic was steady at the Boating Industry booth throughout the show, aided no doubt by a large pot of fresh, free coffee! It was staffed by editor-in-chief David Gee, managing editor Adam Quandt, sales director Leslie Palmer, marketing director Sara Nath, and the CEO of Boating Industry's parent company, EPG Media, Marion Minor.
"We were really anxious to see what the attendance - and reception - at IBEX was going to be like after not being together as an industry for so long," said Minor. "I think the energy and enthusiasm, as well as the overall attendance, bodes well for the Fort Lauderdale and Miami Boat Shows, as well as our own upcoming ELEVATE Summit conference in November."
“I’ve talked with many of our exhibitors and they are saying the same thing, that while attendance may have been impacted by COVID concerns, the quality of boat builders and industry buyers this year was exceptional,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “We all needed this event to reconnect and experience the new innovations that will move the marine industry forward. We are so pleased to have brought the industry together for another successful IBEX.”