IMBC heads home to Florida for 2019 conference

For years, the International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC) has set its sights on targeting middle- to high-management levels within the marina and boatyard industry. With the Association of Marina Industries’ — IMBC’s producer — new strategic five-year lookout, the conference will take aim at the industry as a whole by broadening its educational opportunities at the 2019 event.

“With the new strategic plan in place, AMI and IMBC is broadening opportunities to include all levels of training,” IMBC coordinator Kayce Florio said.

After last year’s trip to New Orleans, the 2019 conference will be coming home to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Broward County Convention Center, where the conference will remain through 2022.

Kicking off on Jan. 23 and running through Jan. 25, the homecoming will be everything but small. The 2019 IMBC is stacking up to be the biggest yet, with an expected sold out show floor, a brand new educational track in addition to the four original tracks, expanded education, and more.

“This is the place where marina and boatyard business gets done,” Florio said. “From the educational opportunities to a very robust exhibit floor, IMBC is a one-stop-shop for marinas and boatyards.”

On the education side, IMBC 2019 will feature five different tracks: Operations, Design & Engineering, Boatyard & Service, IMBC Extra/Best Practices, and the all-new Ahead of the Curve track. Each track offers five different sessions across the two days.

The 2019 conference will have an overlying theme of creating a culture of purpose, Florio said. “When people feel like they have a common goal and are part of a team, they feel happier, they feel like they are a part of something, which is more motivating than money,” she added.

The first day of the conference will take the overlying theme and focus on creating a culture of purpose within an organization, whether it be a marina or boatyard, or something else entirely. The second day will build upon that and focus on creating a culture of personal purpose to further inspire individuals.

Also on the second day of the conference will be a variety of roundtable discussions, broken up by geographic regions to cover “hot button” topics facing each particular region.

“From an attendee standpoint, there will be a multitude of excellent takeaways from all of the workshops across a variety of topics,” Florio said.

IMBC 2019’s keynote, John Spence — a recognized top 100 business thought leader and one of the top 500 leadership development experts in the world — will dive into the conference’s overlying theme and discuss the nine elements of winning culture, why helping people find a sense of purpose and meaning in their job is critical, and how to instill a sense of ownership and accountability across the organization.

In addition to giving the keynote address, Spence will be offering additional educational opportunities during the conference including a breakout session, leadership forum, and other workshops.

In an effort to broaden the reach at IMBC, the 2019 conference will include Marina 101, a three-hour marina industry introduction course, geared toward those with little to no marina experience who are looking to get into the industry.

“The Marina 101 course includes six individual presentations, created and presented by Carl F. Wolf, CMM, CMI and former president of the International Marina Institute. The session offers an inside view of the various aspects of marina operations,” Florio said. “Presentations cover the topics of day-to-day and seasonal operations, maintenance, emergency preparedness, long-term planning, financial reports, and the various roles of a marina manager.”

Back yet again for the 2019 conference, will be the Marina Field trip during the opening day IMBC on Jan. 23. This year’s field trip will visit three Fort Lauderdale marinas.

With around 775 attendees at last year’s IMBC, the 2019 organizers are projecting additional growth, education, networking and more.

Registration for the 2019 IMBC is available both online and onsite. More information about the 2019 conference can be found online at   


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