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Excitement building for Miami Boat Show

A strong economy and lots of new introductions fuel the enthusiasm

Organizers seeing strong economic indicators are hoping for a blockbuster Miami International Boat Show, scheduled Feb. 15-19 at Virginia Key’s Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin.

The 2018 show will have more than 25 percent more boats in the water, with 700 boats at floating docks compared with 550 last year. An additional 700 boats will be on land.

Strictly Sail, formerly at Bayside, is moving to Virginia Key, adding sailboats to the power offerings.

A new VIP experience will include a dedicated space in Tent A. Attendees who buy VIP passes online for $125 get complimentary food and beverages, access to the air-conditioned tent and a deck that overlooks the boats. A regular show ticket costs $25, but that is rolled into the VIP ticket if purchased in advance online. Those who purchase VIP passes at the show instead of online will pay $125 on top of the regular $25 entry fee.

Also new for the 2018 show is Boater Pass, a program that was piloted at the Progressive Tampa Boat Show and helps to “gamify” a show for the 100,000 expected visitors while maximizing lead generation for exhibitors. Attendees who register wear a Boater Pass around their neck with a unique QR code that exhibitors can scan if they want to exchange information. Attendees also can scan products with their phones using an app, and information from products gets sent to the microsite.

The NMMA is again working with Great Performances to bring in food trucks and local restaurants. Offerings will include Latin Café 2000, The Knife Restaurant, Moët & Chandon, Sushi Maki, Killer Melts, Moty’s Grill, Mulberry 1965, King of Racks BBQ, HipPops, B.C. Tacos, Mr. Bing, Relentless Roasters and Ocean Breeze.

Water taxi service has been consolidated once again, now dropping off and picking up attendees at only two locations: Bayfront Park and American Airlines Arena, where more than 85 percent of water-taxi users originate. Complimentary shuttle buses, which also start at 9 a.m., will run to and from two parking hubs in downtown Miami at Marlins Park and American Airlines Arena. Shuttle-bus and water-taxi service concludes at 7 p.m., an hour after the show closes.

A shuttle will run between the Miami International Boat Show and the Miami Yacht Show on Collins Avenue, a separately owned and operated show that runs concurrently with the NMMA show.

Here is a link to the full story that appeared in the February issue of Soundings Trade Only.

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