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What’s up for 2015?

A new logo, a friendlier website, a Friday night party, a VIP experience and $4 billion in product on display
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The 2015 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is rolling out some features that will brand the show as a world-class event, treat showgoers to VIP amenities and offer fun and entertainment to exhibitors and their guests.

Show Management, which produces FLIBS, has launched a new streamlined easy-to-navigate and mobile-compatible consumer website (flibs.com) with detailed maps of the show and information about it: the exhibitors, boats on display, nearby hotels, parking and transportation, events and seminars, and package deals.

The website also introduces a new logo — a rectangle encompassing a large stylized “FL” with “Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show” in smaller letters beneath.

“We are thrilled to roll out a sophisticated new website and comprehensive branding package that reflects the world-class status of the show,” says Brett Keating, Show Management’s vice president of consumer marketing.

The show, scheduled for Nov. 5 to 9 to distance it from the most active part of the hurricane season, will have a “Blue Party” on Friday night (Nov. 6) for exhibitors and their guests. The party will take place at the Sailfish Pavilion at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, which will be bathed in a blue glow.

The party will feature entertainment, music and fashion, and a raffle that will raise money for the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, a Broward County nonprofit that serves more than 11,000 children with special health care needs annually.

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“It should overall be a really nice event that keeps the boat show open a bit longer, until 10:30,” says Keating.

Showgoers also can get white-glove treatment — for a price — through a new VIP Boat Show Experiences program. For $399 a person per day for Thursday, Friday or Saturday, or $1,099 for a three-day VIP pass, a ticketholder is treated to the convenience of onsite valet parking, entry to the boat show and all-day access to the Windward Club, an air-conditioned VIP lounge at the Swimming Hall of Fame, which will feature a gourmet food buffet, private dining and a premium open bar. VIPs also will have access to a dedicated concierge to schedule private boat show events, including reservations for “intimate” yacht tours.

QuintEvents, known for delivering experience packages at prestigious functions such as the Kentucky Derby, the Super Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game, is partnering with Show Management to provide VIP Boat Show Experiences. “They draw a level of clientele that’s very similar to yacht buyers,” says Keating. “We’re looking to them to buy into their database of high-net-worth clients to get more people to come to the show.”

In addition to seminars on sportfishing, freediving, spearfishing, paddleboarding and underwater photography at the convention center, Yachts International magazine will host two seminars by Annapolis-based maritime lawyer Todd Lochner — “Staying Two Steps Ahead of the Tax Man” and “How to Hire a Captain and Crew.”

“This is an exciting year as we roll out enhancements designed to make this the best show ever,” says Keating. “We’re elevating the overall experience in many different ways.”

FLIBS will feature 1,500 boats on display, 1,000 exhibitors and exhibits ranging over 3 million square feet of space at seven venues — Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center, Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

From the 312-foot Lürssen yacht Kismet to fishing boats, runabouts, inflatables, accessories, fishing gear, marine art and jewelry, the products on display will have an estimated value of $4 billion.

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue.

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