MAATS is combined with IBEX

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The Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show has been discontinued as a stand-alone event and will instead be folded into the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference, which takes place in the fall, the National Marine Manufacturers Association announced today.

IBEX, set for Oct. 12-14 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Florida, is owned and produced by the NMMA and Professional BoatBuilder magazine.

Attendance at MAATS, as well as the number of exhibitors, has been dropping in recent years. This year’s show, which was held in July in Orlando, drew 211 exhibitors and 1,345 badge-holders.

The NMMA had previously said the show would move back to Las Vegas next year to stay co-located with the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show, but ultimately decided it was no longer a viable show.

“After examining the existing and future landscape of the show with the MAATS planning committee and evaluating feedback from exhibitors, it was clear the industry would be best served by combining MAATS with IBEX,” said Ben Wold, NMMA’s executive vice president of shows. “This is a welcome change, as it will improve efficiency in the marine trade-show environment. One trade event for OEM and aftermarket parts and accessories will create a more productive environment, reduce exhibitor costs and time, and attract a broader base of attendees to the show.”

Carl Cramer, publisher of Professional BoatBuilder magazine, said IBEX will always be centered on boatbuilding technology, and adding a MAATS pavilion would not detract from the show’s core mission. Instead, it would create new business opportunities.

“The critical mass of the show, in terms of number of exhibitors as well as number of buyers, shrunk and shrunk and shrunk, and it got down to a point where you say, ‘Is this really still viable?’ ” Wold told Soundings Trade Only.

“The buying community, in terms of the number of people, is relatively small, and there’s still the classic trade-show mindset among some that expects lots of people, heavy aisle density on the show floor, and yet the key to MAATS was really always the buyer-supplier meetings, as well as the show floor,” he said.

At this year’s IBEX there will be an accessories pavilion featuring about 100 companies, Wold said, adding he expects that to grow in the coming years.

Because of the discontinuation of MAATS, the National Marine Distributors Association will move its annual Sales, Training, Education & Purchasing conference from Las Vegas for 2010, executive director Nancy Cueroni told Soundings Trade Only.

Instead, the show will likely be held somewhere in the middle of the country to make it easier for members to attend.

“We’re disappointed [about the demise of MAATS] because it was truly the only show for aftermarket accessories,” Cueroni said. Many distributors do not attend IBEX, as it’s generally too late in the year to be a buying event for NMDA members.

Cueroni said it’s possible the NMDA will look to incorporate some of the benefits of MAATS into future S.T.E.P events.

– Beth Rosenberg


10 comments on “MAATS is combined with IBEX

  1. Daffyd

    At last they have listened to what we have been saying. For those of us travelling far (from Europe) 2 trips in the year is too expensive so we had to always make a choice between one or the other.
    One last thing left to acheive, try and move the timing forward to middle or late September so that we know where we are going before the winter buying season starts.

  2. robbie

    Finally some focus in the US . It’s a pity that it took that long but the perspectives for the future light up now !

  3. Sunny

    And move it all back to Orlando (OCCC) where it’s centrally located, rooms are plentiful and affordable, and transportation is not such a pain in the butt!!

  4. Greg Scholand

    Thanks to all involved in reaching this great result! Orlando would be a great venue. East travel, affordable rooms etc. Late September would be ideal!!!!!

  5. verygood

    This is a very welcome development for every supplier in the industry.
    Trust me, as I have been a part of various boards/committees working on these things, that this combination has been a desire of the suppliers for a long time.   However, there were certain structures, obstacles, ownerships, and contracts in place that had to change before this combination could happen.  Some of those have changed over the past few years and the recession, as painful as it has been for all of us, has also been a real impetus for change and efficiency.
    I am glad that the we were able to finally make this bold move, even though it is against the desires of certain factions in the industry.  Now, if we could only get the boat builders to join in, instead of doing their own dealer shows, then we could have IMTEC reborn and have one big industry trade event.

  6. Coastie

    This is good news but let me point out that Orlando is NOT centrally located, nor are hotels or transportation cheap!  It’s location may work for East Coast residents but does not work for Westerners.  NMMA and Proboatbuilder needs to show they care about the entire industry and pick a location accessable and affordable for all.

  7. The Bear

    I, too, would welcome the re-birth of IMTEC. Some in the industry are against it, but I would bet more are in support of the resurrection of what was once an amazing event. Boating Week was a disaster in Orlando, and most trade shows go to the House of Mouse to die.  Go to Atlanta, it is easy to get to domestically and Internationally.
    The date absolutely needs to be the second week of September, and open to dealers.  The week after Labor Day is the tradional end-of-season mark for most of the country, and the only time dealers can escape before winterizing begins in earnest.
    It is time for the industry to unite and present a combined voice to  the consumer, press and Washington.  Or we may find ourselves on the “hit list” as environmentally unsound and slated for elimination by the Enviros on the Hope/Change Train in Washington.  I can only imagine what they will think when they find out the typical boat gets less than 5MPG!

  8. Tony Lumpkin

    Atlanta!  Great, brand new exibition center adjacent to the airport, which is easily accessible from the entire world!  Just do it!

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