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IMBC 2014: Conference sees increased numbers

FORT LAUDERDALE — The 12th annual International Marina & Boatyard Conference saw a 12 percent increase in numbers and organizers said that made it the most successful show in five years.

The IMBC, produced by the Association of Marina Industries, took place Wednesday through Friday last week at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.

"The numbers this year show that people are enthusiastic about the new content and interactive tools, such as the marina design course we ran with the American Society of Civil Engineers and the visual trends board on the exhibit hall floor," AMI chairman Jeff Rose said in a statement. "It's also clear to me the economy is beginning to rebound and that IMBC is the place for continuing education, meeting with industry suppliers and networking with other marina professionals."

The IMBC exhibit hall included new-product demos at exhibitor booths and a marina trends exhibit co-sponsored by AMI and Marina Dock Age magazine.

"The additions to the exhibit hall attracted attendees to the show floor and encouraged them to move around and visit with exhibitors," said Steve Ryder of Bellingham Marine. "IMBC does a great job of planning opportunities for industry suppliers to meet and talk with marina owners."

The conference also featured a new marina design and engineering breakout track and more than 25 seminars, including six small-group hands-on workshops.

"The content at IMBC is always current and well presented," said Brad St. Coeur of Sunrise Harbor Marina. "The addition of the engineering-focused track took IMBC's already well-rounded program to the next level and attracted a larger audience."

The next IMBC will take place Jan. 28-30, 2015, at the Tampa (Fla.) Convention Center.

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