FLIBS 2013: Exhibitors host preshow events

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FORT LAUDERDALE — The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show doesn’t open until Thursday, but a number of companies that want to get an early start are holding events today.

“It’s a trend we started seeing seven or eight years ago,” said Steve Sheer, marketing director for Show Management, which produces FLIBS. “Companies make a major investment in these shows and some feel the need for more hours to get done what they want to accomplish.”

Some exhibitors like to interact with clients outside show days.

“Some find Wednesday a good day to do something special with selected clients,” Sheer said.

Bavaria, the Ferretti Group, MarineMax, OceanLED, Raymarine and the International Superyacht Society are hosting events today and tonight. Raymarine is conducting sea trials from the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina to showcase its newest navigation technologies. The Ferretti Group is introducing the Ferretti 960 and Pershing 62 to the U.S. market at the builder’s flagship showroom at 1445 S.E. 16th St.

The Active Interest Media Marine Group is hosting an Editors’ Open House from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The W Hotel. The session is intended to allow industry players to meet informally with editors of the Marine Group magazines: Yachts International, PassageMaker, Sail, Power & Motoryacht, Soundings and Soundings Trade Only.

The Soundings Trade Only team is at the show and will be filing daily reports for the Trade Only Today newsletter.

Executive editor Chris Landry was on hand for Raymarine’s announcement today of its own charting system and a new operating system.

The largest in-water boat show in the world, FLIBS features more than 1,000 exhibitors, 1,500 boats and more than 3 million square feet of exhibit space, including nearly 10 miles of docks, at six venues.

Highlights this year include the return of the Sailfish Pavilion in a new area behind the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center and the addition of the 228-foot exhibition yacht SeaFair at the Bahia Mar, which will serve as both a fine art gallery and a VIP lounge, as well as offering upscale dining.

Also new this year is a color-coding system to help visitors find their way from place to place. The themed villages have been expanded, and the free MyBoatShow app was improved to provide quicker map access.

FLIBS is owned by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and produced by Show Management, which also produces the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, the Palm Beach International Boat Show and the Suncoast Boat Show — all Florida events. Active Interest Media owns Show Management, as well as Soundings Trade Only, PassageMaker, Yachts International, Soundings, Power & Motoryacht and Sail magazines, and BoatQuest.com.

— Rich Armstrong

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