Crowds get ready to gather for Miami shows

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The largest Yacht & Brokerage Show and the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show open Thursday.

The concurrent shows will run in the heart of Miami Beach until Monday.

The Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, owned and produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and the Yacht & Brokerage Show, owned by Show Management, draw about 110,000 visitors from around the globe and bring about $1.1 billion to the Miami Beach area.

Although they’re separately owned and operated, consumers have come to see the shows as one huge venue.

“In general, everyone comes to this and doesn’t realize there are two shows going on at the same time,” Show Management chief operating officer Dane Graziano told Trade Only Today. “Our working relationship with the NMMA is phenomenal. We’ve both got the same mission statement: to produce the best environment for our clients to sell their products and services.”

The two producers coordinate shuttles between the venues so it’s easy for consumers to get where they want to be (after waiting in some inevitable Miami Beach traffic). Show Management also has beefed up the parking options this year, offering several new locations.

There will be an industry leadership conference from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. today titled “A New Spirit in the Market.” The NMMA and GE Capital’s commercial distribution finance division, are hosting the event.

NMMA president Thom Dammrich and GE Capital commercial distribution finance division marine group president Bruce Van Wagoner will analyze the marine industry and the economy, as well as strategies for growing recreational boating. The conference will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Hall A, room 201-202.

Soundings Trade Only is at the show and staff members will be filing reports.

— Reagan Haynes

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