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IBEX Show Attendees Increase by 20 Percent

Organizers of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference said the number of visitors was up 20 percent over last year. Anne Dunbar, show director, told Trade Only Today that she didn’t have final attendance numbers, but the double-digit increase might have been due to two factors.

This story by Michael Verdon originally appeared in Trade Only Today.

“We’ve had hurricane threats in the last two years, so we dodged that,” Dunbar said. “Beyond that, the industry seemed hungry for new products and innovation, so I think there was also pent-up demand for the increase in visitors.”

There were 100 new companies exhibiting at the show, along with four country pavilions (Australia, Italy, France and Korea) and a total of 21 countries represented. Booths were packed in every open space outside the exhibit halls, along the mezzanine and bottom floor of the Tampa Convention Center.

Changes to this year’s show include electronic badge printing, a Boatbuilder’s lounge, a digital show directory and a VIP lounge. The on-water portion had 38 boats at the dock. “We call that section Test Driving Technology,” Dunbar said.

“A number of companies showed new technologies, including a new open-cockpit air-conditioning system and engine technologies,” she added.

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