IBEX 2023: Turnout ‘exceeded expectations’

Ibex 2023

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) reports that this year’s edition, which ran from October 3-5 2023, ‘exceeded expectations’ based on on-site traffic data and attendance figures.

Following the difficulties of the past several years, from the pandemic to Hurricane Ian, IBEX 2023 welcomed more than 8,600 industry professionals from 70 countries. There were 6,825 visits from over 4,600 visitors, with 72 per cent coming from the United States, and 27 per cent representing the rest of globe. Boatbuilders checked in with the highest numbers, making up nearly 30 per cent of visitors on-site, and new product discovery was the top reason registrants reported for attending.

The Industry Breakfast, Innovation Awards presentation, and keynote, held on 3 October, was sold out and filled the room with over 900 attendees. Exceptional technological advancements were recognised, with 13 Innovation Awards given, along with four honorable mentions. Products can be viewed on the online showcase. Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president, gave the State of the Industry Address and Conor Lokar, ITR Senior Forecaster, gave a timely and relevant keynote address.

The Education Conference offered technical training from industry experts to hundreds of participants, including students attending as part of Career Day on Thursday, hosted with partner the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Foundation. The event gave over 60 students and five instructors from three Florida marine technical schools a unique glimpse into the boating industry.

“It was an excellent show and an amazing response for us as a new exhibitor at IBEX,” says Brian Benedict, CEO/president of WIF PRO. “We were unsure what to expect as a new startup in the industry, but our product was so well received. We won an Innovation Award and have received incredible acknowledgement for our new product. Everyone here has been so helpful and supportive.”

Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director, adds: “We are thrilled with the participation and enthusiasm of visitors, exhibitors, educators, and sponsors of this year’s event. Seeing the crowded aisles, and hearing from many exhibitors about the critical business that took place during the show was extremely satisfying. We want to thank everyone who was involved in helping make IBEX 2023 one of the best yet.”

IBEX is scheduled to return to the Tampa Convention Center next year, with IBEX 2024 Show dates set for 1-3 October, 2024.

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