The 28th International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) ended last Thursday, October 4th, with early indications that visitor and exhibiting figures are considerably up over 2017. With nearly 4,300 verified visitors – a 23% increase over last year – and a 10% increase in square footage to accommodate 14% more exhibiting companies, IBEX was a tremendous success. In total, 55 countries were represented at IBEX, a 10% increase over last year.
“The energy and excitement during IBEX this year was amazing,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “The response was positive to all of our educational offerings, the exhibit halls were packed and people really took advantage of what IBEX does best—which is bring the newest elements of marine products and technology to our industry. The increase in visitors, exhibitors and exhibit space are all powerful indicators that the industry is as strong as ever.”
“IBEX exceeded our expectations this year,” said Tim Bock, chairman, Balmar. “We received several new business inquiries and will be chasing them down for weeks to come!”
The IBEX Education Conference was well attended with a 27% increase in seminars sold. The Special Session: Designing for Speed had standing room only with 160 people attending the panel discussion. The first-ever Vacuum Bag Challenge was also a popular attraction with four teams competing. The winning team consisted of Patrick Dender of Accredited Marine Technologies and Adam Blankinship of Schooner Creek Boat Works with a time of six minutes, twenty-two seconds. Supplies and technical expertise were provided by PRO-VAC.
"One of the most insightful and impressive seminars I have attended at an industry-related show," said Tom Allen, Kittery Point Yacht Yard, of the seminar What Does the Future Hold? How Today's Global Trends Will Impact Your Business, presented by Bill Yeargin.
IBEX is scheduled to return to the Tampa Convention Center for the next three years, with IBEX 2019 show dates set for October 1-3, 2019. For more information, visit www.ibexshow.com.