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Education to take the spotlight at IBEX 2018

By Adam Quandt

From expanded educational offerings to three floors of exhibitors and more, 2018’s International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) is gearing up for an unforgettable year.

IBEX will take place from Oct. 2-4 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla. In early May, IBEX organizers confirmed that Tampa and the Tampa Convention Center will host the conference through 2020.

“Tampa has proven to be an ideal location for IBEX since we relocated there in 2014 and I am very pleased to share our future dates through 2020,” said IBEX Show Director Anne Dunbar. “The waterfront location and easy access to the dock space at the Tampa Convention Center combined with the walkability to restaurants and hotels make Tampa a perfect convention city for the marine industry.”

Despite being in the same location as last year’s event, there are a lot of new things on deck for IBEX 2018. On the first evening of the conference, a new event titled “Sparks!: An Inspirational Night of Boat Design Concepts” will feature 14 different presenters giving “Ted Talk”-like presentations on boat design concepts.

“The people that come [to the conference] are the designers of the future,” IBEX Marketing & Communication Director Kate Holden said.

Education lies at the forefront at every IBEX Conference and 2018 is no exception, offering an expanded lineup of various seminars, super sessions, and “tech talk” workshops. IBEX 2018 will offer participants up to 100 unique opportunities to learn about new processes, access technical information, demo products, and more, during the IBEX Education Conference.

“We are offering more educational opportunities than in years past,” said IBEX Education Director Sarah Devlin. “With world-class presenters, industry partners, and an exceptional mix of timely topical programs to choose from, IBEX offers a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of decades of specialized, hands-on expertise.”

The IBEX Seminar Series offers 58 seminars in eight tracks dedicated to specific areas of interest in the boat manufacturing industry, such as design and engineering; composite methods and materials; onboard systems; marine electrical systems; manufacturing management policy; survey and repair; boatyard and marina operations; and finally, IBEX Extras, a track of special educational topics. The IBEX Seminar Series is organized by the IBEX team and its education partners: Professional BoatBuilder magazine, the American Boat & Yacht Council, the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association, the National Marine Electronics Association, and IBEX co-owner the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

To attend the IBEX Seminars, visitors can register for an Individual, Three-Pack, or Full Conference seminar pass. The Full Conference pass includes seven seminars plus a special panel with some of the world’s top designers, entitled “Designing for Speed.” New this year, attendees select onsite which of the 58 seminars they would like to attend. Also new, seminars this year are 45, 60, 90, or 120 minutes long. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for paid and verified participation at IBEX seminars at one CEU per one hour.

"The entire education conference has grown," said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. "We will be offering two days of Super Sessions and we are thrilled to launch a new Marina & Yard Pavilion Theater with workshops dedicated to that growing segment of the IBEX audience."

IBEX Super Sessions take place on Sunday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. Advanced registration is required. Super Sessions vary in price from $55 to $699.

Tech Talk Workshops are exhibitor-run training sessions that begin every hour during show hours. This year there will be two workshop theaters: the Marina and Yard Pavilion Theater on the first floor exhibit hall sponsored by Tides Marine, and the Tech Talk Theater on the third floor sponsored by West System and Pro-Set Epoxy. On Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. in the Tech Talk Theater, IBEX will hold the Product Pitch – a live presentation by exhibitors of some of the most innovative new products on display as selected by industry journalists.

Another highlight of this year’s IBEX will be the annual Industry Breakfast and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The event will feature a keynote address from best-selling author and motivational business speaker Rich Karlgaard.

“The IBEX Industry Breakfast has become a must-attend opening day event,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director. “This year I am extremely pleased to have such a distinguished member of the business community as our keynote. I am confident the insights Rich Karlgaard will share on the U.S. and global economies, financial markets, technology and tech-driven change and innovation will be inspiring and set the tone for an exceptional IBEX show."

Boating Industry’s Movers & Shakers award will also be announced and presented during the Industry Breakfast.

With a multitude of educational opportunities, over 700 exhibitors across three floors and outdoor demo space, and various networking events, IBEX 2018 will be a culmination of the best of the best in the marine industry and a spotlight to some of the newest products and technologies in the industry to date.

For more information on IBEX 2018, visit www.ibexshow.com.

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