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IBEX opens Tuesday

It has been two years since Metstrade and RAI Amsterdam acquired a 50 percent stake in IBEX.

It has been two years since Metstrade and RAI Amsterdam acquired a 50 percent stake in IBEX.

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference opens Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., and runs through Oct. 4 at the Tampa Convention Center.

The Metstrade team partners with the National Marine Manufacturers Association to produce IBEX.

Spread over three show floors, IBEX features four specialty pavilions: Composites, Electronics, Marina and Yard, and Compliance Standards and Education.

Australia, South Korea, Italy and France will all have international pavilions.

The show includes a range of educational sessions, panel discussions, networking and social events. Soundings Trade Only is hosting a roundtable discussion this afternoon in conjunction with the show.

Electric and electronics technician Capt. Ed Wiser attends IBEX with a list of problems that his customers are having, and he said he usually solves them at the show.

“Every time I go to IBEX, I realize how much I don’t know,” Wiser, who operates Boat Doc Marine in the Fort Myers, Fla., area, told Trade Only Today. “It gives me a chance to network, and a chance to go to seminars so I can become better at what I do and be more of a resource to my customers.”

As service advisor of Hartge Yacht Harbor Michael Waldow said he and his colleagues attend about 85 to 90 percent of IBEX classes. He said the show is crucial for “bumping heads together” to find solutions to challenges.

“It does help me troubleshoot a lot of my problems, and that may not be specific to boats; it may be industry issues,” Waldow said. “It’s good to see what others are doing, and usually when you get to these trade shows, people kind of let their guard down a little bit, and you can talk shop a little more freely.”

“The exceptional variety of the program at this year’s IBEX showcases the added value of the flourishing partnership with Metstrade,” said RAI Amsterdam’s maritime director Irene Dros in a statement. “As the world’s largest B2B marine equipment exhibition, Metstrade has ensured that IBEX has an increasingly international flavor.”

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