The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced that the 2023 show, which closed on Thursday, October 5, exceeded expectations based on on-site traffic data and attendance figures. The three-day event saw packed aisles, full educational sessions, and well-attended networking events.
Following the difficulties of the past several years, from the pandemic to Hurricane Ian, IBEX 2023 welcomed more than 8,600 industry professionals from 70 countries. There were 6,825 visits from over 4,600 visitors with 72% coming from the United States, and 27% representing the rest of globe. Boatbuilders checked in with the highest numbers, making up nearly 30% of visitors on-site, and new product discovery was the top reason registrants reported for attending.
“We are thrilled with the participation and enthusiasm of visitors, exhibitors, educators, and sponsors of this year’s event,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “Seeing the crowded aisles, and hearing from many exhibitors about the critical business that took place during the show was extremely satisfying. We want to thank everyone that was involved in helping make IBEX 2023 one of the best yet.”
The annual Industry Breakfast, Innovation Awards Presentation, and Keynote, held Tuesday, October 3, was sold out and filled the room with over 900 attendees. Exceptional technological advancements were recognized, with 13 Innovation Awards given along with four honorable mentions. Products can be viewed on the online showcase. Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president, gave the State of the Industry Address and Conor Lokar, ITR Senior Forecaster, gave a timely and relevant keynote address that was very well received.
The Education Conference offered technical training from industry experts to hundreds of participants, including students attending as part of Career Day on Thursday, hosted with partner the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Foundation. The dynamic event gave over 60 students and five instructors from three Florida marine technical schools a unique glimpse into the boating industry. In addition, networking events were packed with Pitch the Press and the Carbon Conundrum panel discussion both at capacity. The Opening Night Party and Mid-Show Mixer, which took place at The Sail Pavilion after the exhibit halls closed, saw larger crowds than in past years.
IBEX is scheduled to return to the Tampa Convention Center, with IBEX 2024 Show dates set for October 1 – 3, 2024. For more information, visit www.ibexshow.com.