Miami Yacht Show organizers say its move to Biscayne Bay in 2019 will benefit attendees, exhibitors, and show organizers.
“This wasn’t lightly thought of and they did their homework,” Mary Bender, vice president of marketing for Informa, told Trade Only Today. “We don’t put shows where we don’t think they’ll be successful. We’re really excited we’re going to move the show to a location that better supports this type of event.”
Informa announced the move from Collins Avenue on Miami Beach, where it’s spent the last three decades, to Biscayne Bay between the Venetian and MacArthur causeways, during this year’s Miami Yacht Show.
The new site is easier to access and provides ample parking — something that was lacking on Miami Beach — and will be closer to Super Yacht Miami at Island Gardens Marina.
“Where we’re going to see the big change is on land,” Bender said. “There will be 3,500 parking spaces — more booths, a larger VIP area, and more complimentary brands. The land footprint will go up dramatically, but again, most of that will be in parking, which we’re just incredibly grateful to have.”
Another key factor was getting the Miami Yacht Show closer to the separately owned, concurrently-running Miami International Boat Show, which moved from the Miami Convention Center three years ago as it underwent construction.
“It took some time to understand the impact of their move on our attendees, and the difficulty they were having when they wanted to attend both shows,” Bender said.
Organizers hope this will make exhibiting and attending both shows more cost effective. “We all know what hotel prices on Miami Beach are like,” Bender said. “The move-in time will be shorter. We think that will make a difference.”
Management hopes the new location will allow for sea trials, which have been a popular addition to the Miami International Boat Show, but has not yet been able to confirm that it will be able to do so, Bender said.
Logistics of holding a major yacht show along Collins Avenue in South Miami Beach were challenging between the parking, the traffic, and the length of the show.
Organizers faced restrictions on when they could unload and pack up trucks full of gear because it required blocking a lane on the busy road. Electricity and shading was also difficult at the location, Bender said.
“Especially as warm as it was this year, keeping the folks who are at ticketing and working the show cool and hydrated can be challenging,” she said. “The new location will be more climate controlled, which will also protect ticketing equipment. We had some equipment overheat briefly this year. That’s not positive for us or exhibitors.”
The Miami Yacht Show has updated its website to help inform attendees about the planned move.
So far, exhibitor feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, Bender said.
When Informa general manager Andrew Doole announced the move to a group of 60 or 70 at the Miami Yacht Show, they erupted in applause, Bender said.
Viking president and CEO Pat Healey said he was excited about the move in a video taken at this year’s show — also an effort to start informing customers early on that the show is going to relocate.
“The show’s gotten so big here and so long — it spans a mile and a half or longer — and it’s not that wide,” Healey said.
Viking spent about 20 years at another boat show in that location before moving to the Miami Yacht Show on Collins Avenue 10 years ago, Healey said.
“I think it’s a great move,” Healey said. “We were there, like I said, for 20 years and it was always one of my favorite places. It’s a win-win for attendees of the show.”
Watch the whole 3-minute video here.