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IBEX 2014: Product pitches in lightning-round style

 Companies made product presentations to marine journalists at a Pitch the Press event at IBEX on Tuesday.

Companies made product presentations to marine journalists at a Pitch the Press event at IBEX on Tuesday.

TAMPA, Fla. — Nineteen companies made lightning-fast presentations to a room full of media members Tuesday afternoon at the International BoatBuilders' Exhibition & Conference. Each presenter had exactly two minutes to capture the audience and break through what can become product overload at the marine industry's largest technical trade event.

The catchy pitches included a James Bond-themed approach from David Dunn, Garmin's head of sales, who flashed a Garmin watch that can steer a boat. Dunn also passed around a tiny handheld action camera, Garmin's nautical answer to GoPro, and teased the audience by alluding to the 42 new products Garmin is poised to reveal at the Oct. 30-Nov. 3 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. He finished by answering questions about Garmin's industry-leading Glass Helm.

The two-minute talk by Chetco's Joe Burke on The Connected Boat's onboard cloud computing capacities left reporters wanting more, and Burke invited everyone to join him at The Connected Boat's impressive exhibit on the IBEX show floor.

Presenters began by giving their name and booth number and concluded by answering questions and repeating the booth number. Other products that stood out from the crowd at the Pitch the Press event were Syntec's advanced fabrics; Marinco's Pro Installer Product Line (one of the winners of the IBEX Innovation Awards, which were presented Tuesday morning); and Wet Sounds Bluetooth Volume Control.

Trade Only Today reporters at the event were most intrigued by Teak Isle's smartphone charger countertop installation.

"This is something that will be standard in cars and boats in the near future," Teak Isle's Pat Brown said. "BMW, Audi and Volkswagen are asking that it be built into every car."

Brown said Teak Isle is working furiously with its prototypes to meet the demand and hopes to exhibit market product at the Fort Lauderdale show.

The Pitch the Press event is new this year at IBEX. Participants were selected by BWI Innovation Awards judges and industry insiders who walked the floor looking for new and innovative products and services that stood out among the hundreds of exhibitors.

These criteria were used to select the products and services:

• Products that have the potential to create positive change in boating or the marine industry

• Products that make boats safer, more efficient or more environmentally friendly

• Products that improve the overall boating experience

• Products that are the most intriguing, head-turning or unique new offerings

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