Fort Lauderdale show rolls out new features

Organizers of the 53rd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show announced show enhancements.

Themed areas, layout changes and entertainment are designed to wow attendees and exhibitors at the world's largest boat show, organizers said in a statement.

As the owners and operators of the show, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Show Management developed a strategic plan of exciting enhancements, scheduled to begin in 2012 and continuing to roll out during the next several years.

Owners hope the enhancements ensure that FLIBS remains at the forefront of the marine industry for decades to come.

Attendees at this year's show, scheduled for Oct. 25-29 at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, will be greeted by a freshly designed show entrance and guided through the pedestrian-friendly layout with newly designed navigation and communication tools. Attractive themed areas are being created to engage each marine market's respective fans. Entertainment of various sorts, for show-goers of all ages, is being planned to create a great experience for everyone who loves to get out on the water.

Introduced at last year's show with tremendous success, the show's smartphone app, MyBoatShow, was upgraded. Designed to help navigate the show's docks, land areas and tents, the MyBoatShow app now lets you post your favorite boat from the show directly to Facebook and to search for boats by name.

Show organizers are pleased to report that cell phone service should improve with the addition of a mobile cell site providing more cellular network coverage. There also will be free cell phone charging stations located throughout the show.

New this year, attendees will enter the in-water portion of the show at The Bahia Mar Yachting Center through the new Performance Village, located along H/I Dock. This redesigned section of the show will feature a layout highlighting boats and accessories comprising the performance boat market, including new boats from Cigarette and other industry leaders.

New this year, custom builders will represent their one-of-a-kind fishing machine designs from a new display area dedicated to their custom trade.

PassageMaker Magazine's TrawlerPort will return to B Dock and bring fans of the long-range cruising lifestyle products and innovation from the trawler market, along with the always informative seminars taking place on Trawler Island.

New at the Broward County Convention Center indoor portion of the show is the KidZone, featuring youth fishing clinics from Capt. Don Dingman, founder of the non-profit Hook the Future.

Amusing pop-up entertainment is expected to delight show-goers. On the culinary front, expect upgraded food service and an additional floating cocktail barge at the show's north end, adjacent to the Hall of Fame Marina.

"Our objective is to ensure that FLIBS continually improves and remains the largest, most exciting and successful boat show in the world," said Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, chairman and CEO of Show Management.

Covering six locations with more than 3 million square feet of space, the show's network of water taxis, riverboats and shuttles transports visitors to see the amazing array of boats ranging from astonishing superyachts to fishing boats, runabouts and boats for every budget.


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