Organizers see positive data heading into IBEX

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A recent influx of new exhibitor registrations, in addition to positive shipment news released by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, could indicate the International Boatbuilders' Exhibition and Conference is poised for a strong opening Monday, organizers say.

The trade event opens Monday and runs through Wednesday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. IBEX is owned and produced by Professional BoatBuilder magazine and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

"Growth in RV sales and the increase in registrations is a positive sign that IBEX will be a key event for boatbuilders who need to prepare for what could be a period of economic stability in 2010," said Carl Cramer, IBEX co-director and publisher of Professional BoatBuilder magazine, in a statement.

Preshow registrations are off only slightly from 2008 numbers, Cramer said, while show management has seen more than 65 new or returning exhibitors make a commitment in the last 90 days to exhibit at the 2009 event.

What's more, RVIA reported this week that July RV shipments to dealers were at their highest seasonally-adjusted levels since October 2008. The marine industry typically follows the RV industry by six months.

"Recent news out of the RV industry is an encouraging signal for the marine industry and further suggests we will see stronger retail sales and a ramp-up in production for recreational boats in 2010," NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement.

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