The International BoatBuilders' Exhibition & Conference announced a new rotating show schedule to increase accessibility for attendees and exhibitors across the United States and internationally.
IBEX organizers announced that the 2014 and 2016 shows will be held in Tampa, Fla., alternating years with the 2013 and 2015 locations in Louisville, Ky.
The IBEX 2014 show will be held at the Tampa Convention Center, which is on the waterfront and within walking distance of many hotels, restaurants and attractions.
Due to the waterfront location and expanse of docks and slips, IBEX attendees will be able to experience live demonstrations of emerging new products and technologies. Dock space will be available for all IBEX 2014 exhibitors, but space is limited.
Alternating between Louisville and Tampa offers "enormous benefits" to marine industry professionals, organizers said in a statement. Both cities are easily accessed travel hubs, and the rotation between a Southern location and a central location allows more professionals to attend, the statement said. A rotating schedule also creates more location-specific social and networking opportunities, which show organizers anticipate will increase attendance.
"Louisville continues to be an excellent location for IBEX, but there are two major geographic areas in the USA where about 80 percent of boatbuilders in North America reside," IBEX director Anne Dunbar said in a statement. "Rotating between these two cities is ideal for our dedicated IBEX attendees and for all those marine professionals who have been unable to attend."
"The new rotation between Louisville and Tampa was unanimously and enthusiastically supported by the IBEX planning committee, which is chaired by Bill Watters, president of Syntec Industries," National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich said in a statement. "As a result of rotating location, IBEX will bring new products, new programs, a new location and new excitement to the marine industry every year."
The convention center features indoor and outdoor space, a Sail Pavilion — a 360-degree waterfront bar and performance venue — and close proximity to Tampa's Riverwalk, a popular pedestrian byway.