This roundup of upcoming shows and events includes news from the Palm Beach (Fla.) International Boat Show, the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show and the 2011 Marine Dealer Conference and Expo.
The 26th annual Palm Beach (Fla.) International Boat Show will display more than $350 million worth of boats, yachts and accessories from the world's leading marine manufacturers, organizers said.
The event will be held March 24-27 feature hundreds of boats, ranging from small inflatables and center consoles to fishing boats and superyachts longer than 150 feet.
This year's Palm Beach International Boat Show also offers new interactive marine-related activities:
- The Blue Wild Dive and Travel Show is a presentation that aims to help people enjoy the ocean safely, whether they're learning to dive or continuing their diving and boating education. The show will feature experts speaking on safe boating, scuba diving, freediving, spearfishing, lobstering, first aid, environmental issues and emergency boat repairs.
- The International Game Fish Association School of Sportfishing presents mini-sessions with some of the area's best captains and professional anglers.
- Don Dingman, host and founder of "Hook the Future," returns this year to host his Kids Fishing Clinics for anglers ages 5 to 16. Each session runs about 45 minutes.
The Palm Beach International Boat Show is owned and sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach. It is managed and produced by Show Management.
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The Florida Yacht Brokers Association, the International Superyacht Society and the Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club will present a fundraiser that also serves as the official start to the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show.
Dubbed "I've Got a Caribbean Soul," the party will be held from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Show Management tent on Cocktail Barge No. 1 in the 4700 block of Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.
A limited number of event tickets are available and can be purchased for $30.
Proceeds benefit Shake-A-Leg Miami, a charitable organization that teaches people with disabilities to overcome their handicaps by learning to sail.
"This event helps Shake-A-Leg Miami continue its fine work of helping children and adults overcome their physical, developmental and economic challenges," said Harry Horgan, founder and president of Shake-A-Leg Miami, in a statement. "We deeply appreciate the organizations who are bringing together the marine industry to support us. We also understand that the planners are expecting the event to serve as the annual kickoff of the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show. We look forward to this continuing partnership."
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The 2011 Marine Dealer Conference and Expo will take place Nov. 6-9 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center hotel in Orlando, Fla.
With a focus on continued growth, the conference committees made a series of upgrades to the 2011 event, the most noteworthy of which is the incorporation of the educational rooms into the expo hall, according to the event's organizers, the Marine Retailers Association of America and Boating Industry magazine.
Feedback from the 2010 event's dealers and exhibitors outlined a desire for greater traffic flow in the expo hall. With three modular classrooms set up in the hall, dealers and exhibitors will be able to maximize their time by conducting meetings and interacting with one another on an ongoing basis.
The educational lineup once again will consist of three tracks, focusing on sales, marketing, service and management-related topics. The expo hall will feature more than 100,000 square feet of exhibitor space.
The conference attracted a record attendance in 2010 that included 465 dealers and 974 industry representatives. Those numbers represented 6 and 31 percent increases, respectively, compared with the 2009 event. The expo hall nearly doubled in size and 115 companies exhibited.
"We're extremely excited for the 2011 MDCE," said John Vallely Jr., general manager of Vallely Sport & Marine, Bismarck, N.D., and chairman of the convention committee of the retailers association, in a statement. "Not only is this event generating great momentum in becoming the go-to conference for the marine industry, but the dealer body has recognized this as the one place it can go to get all of the education and industry connectivity it needs."