IBEX 2010: Louisville show deemed a success

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100110IBEXExhibitors at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference, which wrapped up Thursday, were generally pleased with the event’s new Louisville, Ky., venue, as well as the business they did during the three-day show.

“We were a little concerned coming down because of the change of venue from Florida, but it’s actually had a lot of traffic,” said Bob Grenke, Molex product manager, on the show floor in the final hours of the event. “We’ve had some really good leads, some really interested people, some existing customers, which is nice, too. We’ve found it to be a success.”

“Anytime you have a change, there’s always a concern. And since we moved from Florida – where you would think would be one of the boat capitals of the world and it is – moving up to Louisville, which is in the heart of the Midwest basically, we were a little concerned,” he added. “But I think people found it was very economical to come here … and we found it very accommodating. Costs have been less and I think there’s more people here this year. It seems like there’s more people coming through.”

Final attendance figures were not immediately available, though organizers said preregistrations were up about 12 percent over last year.

“We’re surprised at how good it’s been; it’s certainly better than last year,” said Ed Dickson who works in sales for Imtra. “I found it to be very convenient and I’ve seen some very good contracts. [Wednesday] was very busy. It’s better than we expected.”

First-time exhibitor Chad Williams, vice president of sales and marketing for PierVantage, agreed IBEX was a success.

“It’s been great. We’ve spoken with a number of potential customers, both for our PierVantage product, which is our boatyard management solution, as well as our customer experience portal, which is our marine supply business-to-business e-commerce portal,” Williams said. “So we’ve spoken with a number of clients and potential clients and it’s been great. … We have demonstrations going on and we’ve had pretty constant traffic. We’ve been pretty busy the whole time.”

IBEX 2010 featured more than 500 exhibitors and organizers said they heard very few complaints about the show or the venue.

“I have spent all of the last two days walking the show floor and I’ve talked to every exhibitor who isn’t occupied with a customer,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said Thursday. The National Marine Manufacturers Association co-produces the show with Professional BoatBuilder magazine. “I bet I talked to 150 to 200 exhibitors and I haven’t found anybody who’s not happy with the show. Most are extremely happy,”

Show co-director Carl Cramer, publisher of Professional BoatBuilder magazine, said he’s used to fielding complaints from exhibitors but heard few this year.

“People go out of their way to praise the facility, how helpful the staff has been,” he said. “The downtown has been so welcoming to us. The exhibitors and the attendees that have come to me are wowed. Overwhelmingly, I think the level of satisfaction has surprised many people.”

IBEX 2011 is scheduled for Oct. 17-19 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

A complete show wrap-up will be published in the November issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Beth Rosenberg



9 comments on “IBEX 2010: Louisville show deemed a success

  1. Greg Scholand

    Couldn’t have been happier with the show. Travel was easy & affordable as were accomodations. The hall was great, people very friendly & helpful and the downtown was the perfect place for ‘after meetings’. The best thing however was the mood of everyone. The past 2 years reminded me of a wake, today I feel like I just came back from a christining!

  2. Kansas City Sailing

    Great show!  Made it look like the economy is coming back.  Louisville is a great location: easy to get around, terrific facility, friendly town.  Looking forward to next year!

  3. Kiko Villalon

    Just came back from the show. I have quite a few friends among the exhibitors and all of them… to a man, were happy with the results of the change of venue. These are people who have been suffering much the effects of the recession on the industry and they had their ears open.
    Congrats to Carl Cramer and Tom Dammrich. You gambled, took the risk and won.

  4. Daniel Rutherford

    Congrats the the ProBOAT staff.  I missed the show this year but will be sure to be there in 2011.

  5. Jim Prouty

    We attended and I agree, it was the best show we have attended in many years. When is sign up start for next year??
    Jim Prouty
    NGR Boats

  6. Dana Greenwood, SYBO Composites

    We were very happy with this years IBEX. Many potential customer contacts were made. There was alot of interest in our CNC router capability.

  7. Tony Caserta

    The show was excellent!  In these hard economic times cost is very important.  Our costs in Louisville were half as much as expended at a previous attendance in Mami and well within budget. The LaQuinta motel was inexpensive, clean, well managed and within 16 minutes of the convention hall. The People in Louisville were very nice.  Lot of places to eat good food.  It was a 13 hour trip from NY by car vs 26 hours to Florida.
    The sessions were also excellent – learned a lot. The floor exhibets were top notch and informative.  We were able to make excellent contacts, were able to make tradeoffs between competing technologies, and actually solved several technical design issues on the floor of the exhibets. 
    Only problems:  1)Not enough time to cover all the booths,  2)Had to make several hard decisions choosing between good topics - running at the same time.
    Overall well worth the trip. 
    We look forward to next year’s IBEX.  Next year,  we would like to see more sessions oriented to aluminum boat manufacturing.   Question? Would it be possible to have an Aluminum Boat Builders sub group meeting at the IBEX?

  8. Robert Wilson

    As a first time exhibitor from Australia, we had alot of interest in our drinkware with a good cross section of retailers, boatbuilders and distributors attending our stand. We also enjoyed the food and the nightlife of Louisville and the show was well organized. Other Australian exhibitors also had a positive experience.

  9. Jim Desai

    As a first time exhibitor from Dallas, Texas and  we had alot of interest in our products, boatbuilders and distributors and our current customers attending our stand. We also enjoyed the food and the nightlife of Louisville and the show was well organized.
    My personal feeling is the show should be two days instead of three days because last day of show not many people was there and mostly exhibitors was around and I feel people can easily finish to visit all the booths in two days so it will save everybody’s time plus rent, utility, hotel cost, food cost etc…

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