It might be the only show in North America where you can actually witness a sailboat being built in the parking lot.
Marcy Offner, of Composites One, says her company has been to all 25 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference events that have taken place through the years because IBEX is pivotal to her company’s growth.
“It’s a show that’s always been willing to embrace new or more efficient technologies,” Offner told Trade Only Today.
Back in the early days of the exhibition, the company pulled off small demonstrations focused on the closed-molding process, “which has actually been around a long time, but with new regulations over the last 20 years or so became a process that interested a lot of boatbuilders because it removed a lot of the emissions.”
Composites One, a company that has actually produced a sailboat in the parking lot of the IBEX show, is one of 15 Silver Exhibitors that will be recognized at the Sept. 15-19 event at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
The show has endured two major recessions and seen three U.S. presidents, several venue changes, the luxury tax and more.
And a handful of companies have been there for the entire ride.
They will be honored at the Industry Breakfast, which is held at every IBEX. All awards are handed out at the breakfast and National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich gives a state-of-the-industry address. This year’s keynote speaker is National Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.
“It’s our 25th show, our silver anniversary show. It’s just exciting that we’ve come this far,” show director Anne Dunbar said. “We have 15 exhibitors we’re going to honor at the industry breakfast, silver members, for their 25 years of marine innovation.”
The 15 companies that have supported all 25 IBEX events are: 3A Composites Baltek Inc.; Airtech International Inc.; American BoatBuilders & Repairers Association; Ashland; Composites One; DIAB Americas LP; Interlux Yacht Finishes; Interplastic Corp.; Magnum Venus Products; Professional BoatBuilder magazine; Plexus-ITW Polymers Adhesives N.A.; Pro-Set Inc./West System Inc.; Structural Composites Inc.; Taylor Made Group LLC; and Tricel Honeycomb Corp.