The 29 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference had more than 700 exhibitors from 25 countries covering 138,000 square feet of space. Show management said that in excess of 100 exhibitors were first-timers and international pavilions included Australia, France, Italy, Slovenia and South Korea. Four specialty pavilions focused on compliance, standards and education, composites, marina and yard equipment and the National Marine Electronics Association’s Connected Boat Experience.
The IBEX docks had 30 boats in the water for product demonstrations and Playkraft pontoons and Waves and Wheels, a stereo specialist from Missouri teamed up on a pontoon boat equipped with a serious sound system.
Educational sessions brought in more than 300 participants and a special event, Return to Thunderboat Row with a trip down performance-boating’s memory lane. During the three days of IBEX, there were 60 special sessions and the second annual Vacuum Bag Challenge was a popular attraction as were the models in the Design Challenge, all of which were produced onsite with a 3D printer.
The Digital Innovators Pop-Up Show featured 10 start-up companies offering new technology and the Marinas of the Future presentation showed the latest in marina product development.
“I’ve talked with many of the exhibitors and they are all saying the same thing, the quality of buyers this year at IBEX was the best it’s ever been,” Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director said in a statement. “The amount of business that took place in the exhibit halls this year was significant, more than in previous years. The positive energy throughout all three days was obvious, and if IBEX is the pulse of the marine industry, we are looking at a strong 202, and beyond.”
The 2020 edition of IBEX is scheduled to return to the Tampa Convention Center starting September 29 and running through October 1.