IMBC opens in Fort Lauderdale

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The International Marina & Boatyard Conference started this morning at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center with an 8:30 a.m. keynote address from John Spence on “Business Excellence: Running and Sustaining a Highly Successful Business Organization.”

There will be afternoon sessions at 1 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. on turning ideas from the keynote address into action at attendees’ businesses.

Rice University professor Steve Murdock was to speak at 9:30 a.m. on “Patterns of Population Change in the United States,” an important topic during a time of declining boat registrations.

There also will be a breakout session, “What Just Happened? A First Look at Hurricane Sandy,” led by Beth Leonard of BoatUS.

The conference opened Wednesday night with an increase in preregistered attendees and an Oktoberfest-style reception on the exhibit floor. There were more than 130 booths on the floor; more than 650 people are expected to attend the conference.

“A sold-out exhibit floor, combined with our new beer tasting, created a good buzz for the start of the show,” AMI chairman Gary Groenewold said in a statement, “Participants had a chance to talk to our industry’s vendors, network with their peers and take part in our beer tasting and Oktoberfest-style food pairing.”

Full-conference, one-day and exhibit-hall-only passes are available. Those who wish to attend can register on the first level of the convention center at the IMBC’s registration desk outside Hall A.

The conference continues through Friday. Look for daily reports in Trade Only Today and more in-depth coverage in the March issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Jim Flannery

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