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IBEX 2017: Organizers report attendance increase

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference said overall attendance for the 2017 show was up from 2016 and that final numbers will be released next week.

Of the 650 registered exhibitors, only about 11 did not make it to the Tampa Convention Center for the three-day show, which ended Thursday. Although visitor traffic was a little light on Tuesday, most of the exhibitors that Trade Only spoke to said activity picked up Wednesday and that the people who attended were decision makers at their companies.

“The right people are here,” National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich said.

“Traffic has been steady,” said exhibitor Scott Phillips, customer service representative and marketing assistant for Vectorply Corp. “We’ve had people in and out.”

In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Harvey, many attendees wondered whether the show would take place. They were concerned for industry members who were hit harder in other parts of Florida and the Southeast. “If your home is flooded, I understand you’re not coming here,” Dammrich said.

Overall, IBEX 2017 had a positive vibe, and for many attendees the show was a welcome respite from cleaning up after a hurricane.

“I’m glad they were able to still have the conference,” said Jeana Padgett, a customer service representative at Vectorply.

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