Yachts Miami Beach touts success of new-look show

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Yachts Miami Beach exhibitors reported seeing knowledgeable boaters and qualified buyers.

Yachts Miami Beach exhibitors reported seeing knowledgeable boaters and qualified buyers.

The 29th annual Yachts Miami Beach, which ran from Feb. 16-20 along Collins Avenue, wrapped up with encouraging reports from the docks.

Organizers did not release attendance figures, but they said charging for entry proved to be effective for attracting qualified visitors throughout the five-day event. The show introduced new features, a new look and a different layout this year designed to enhance visitors’ experience.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of this year’s event,” Show Management president Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III said in a statement.

Show Management manages and produces Yachts Miami Beach and co-owns the show with the International Yacht Brokers Association. Trade Only Today and Show Management are part of Active Interest Media’s Marine Group.

“The attendance at the show exceeded our expectations in both quality and quantity,” Zimbalist said. “Exhibitors reported sales and quality leads. In terms of mix, we saw an increase in the proportion of yachts 50 feet and larger as exhibitors took advantage of the more targeted, upscale show atmosphere.”

Spanning more than a mile along Collins Avenue from 41st Street to 54th Street, the new layout highlighted the show’s waterfront location along Indian Creek Waterway.

Visitors arrived through seven entrances; the show charged for entry for the first time in its nearly 30-year history.

“Yachts Miami Beach was a solid show for us,” Denison Yacht Sales president Bob Denison said. “The people we met on the docks tended to be more serious than years past, and our team was able to walk away from the show with multiple brokerage and new-boat contracts.”

For the first time, guests arrived aboard water taxis connected to new parking locations.

Foot traffic was redirected from the sidewalk along Collins Avenue to the show’s network of new floating docks. A VIP Experience ticket was added for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Feb. 16-18), which included access to a floating, air-conditioned VIP lounge featuring an open bar, food, a spa experience and a dedicated concierge to arrange appointments aboard yachts directly with exhibitors.

“The new layout of the show was very positive and much more organized than previous years,” Intrepid Powerboats senior vice president Mike Obolsky said. “It was easy to direct arriving customers to our location within the show, and the new gate pre-qualified the attendees. We saw many very knowledgeable boaters, and our sales were up more than 50 percent over last year.”

The new features were designed to create an interactive environment for exhibitors and buyers; yachts were arranged in dedicated new and brokerage sections.

“Yachts Miami Beach was another great event, as it has been for 29 years running. Overall, the restructuring of the venue seems to be a positive move for all concerned,” IYBA president Gary Smith said. “The reports I am getting from the vendors in attendance indicate that the business resulting from the show is good. It is always a waiting game, with the next 30 to 45 days telling the tale.”

For the second year, Yachts Miami Beach included a display of superyachts at Island Gardens Deep Harbour on Watson Island, which can accommodate yachts as large as 500 feet.

The invitation-only “show within a show,” known as Super Yacht Miami, featured 28 superyachts this year.

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