This year’s Discover Boating International Boat Show was a first-time partnership between the International Yacht Brokers Association’s Miami Yacht Show, NMMA’s Miami International Boat Show and Informa Markets’ Superyacht Miami. The combined show was staged across five venues in Miami Beach and downtown Miami.
NMMA yesterday announced that the show drew more than 100,000 attendees during its five-day run, and reports from vendors, dealers, brokers and other industry players are positive.
Trade Only Today spoke with Paul Flannery, chief operating officer of IYBA, for perspective on what he saw and heard during the reimagined show.
Flannery said boat sales were strong at Sea Isle Marina, One Herald Plaza, Museum Park Marina, IGY Yacht Haven Grande and at the Miami Beach Convention Center. “I talked to folks on the new-boat side and brokerages — sales were extremely good,” he said. “Many dealers had a banner show. I talked to MarineMax, Reel Deal Yachts and Bluewater Yacht Sales, and they all told me they had an extremely good show.”
Flannery reported that the Miami Beach Convention Center was bustling with activity. “The convention center was very, very, busy,” he said. “Aeré Docking Solutions told me they had a ridiculously good show and received a massive number of orders for a single-product release.”
Vendors told Flannery that not only was the number of customers robust, but also that they were serious about buying. “Kohler, Caterpillar, Ward’s Marine Electric — they all told me that customer engagement was off the charts,” Flannery said. “Show visitors weren’t just lookers; they were there to do business.”
Flannery added that there were some growing pains associated with the new show. “I did hear some people mention having difficulty figuring out the shuttle bus and water taxi system,” he said, “but it’s nothing different than the first year of the Virginia Key show. Those things require some ironing out, and we’ll work on signage and communications that improve the experience for attendees. Overall, I’d say most people easily figured out how to move form venue to venue.”
Flannery is optimistic about the show’s future. “I would say that Miami is back; there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “It's not like we went away, but there was, you know, a little bit of meandering around to find our new home. I think going back to the convention center and anchoring in downtown provides us with a great future for the show. I mean, how can you beat the backdrop of the city of Miami?”