Organizers of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced a strong turnout of highly qualified attendees to this year’s show, attendance was equal to 2012 total verified attendance of 4,700. The boating industry’s networking and trade event took place at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville from September 17-19.

Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) commented, “IBEX was well attended this year, but what was most striking to me was that business was taking place on the show floor. Many high level marine professionals—boatbuilders, engineers, designers, composite professionals, and others—were networking and making deals.  The atmosphere was very exciting.”

Exhibitors also reported a valuable IBEX experience. "It's been a really great show, with new and exciting leads for us. We felt a very positive vibe from the industry and are excited to exhibit at IBEX Tampa in 2014,” said Shelia Harper, Marketing Executive of Whale Seaward Inc. “IBEX was wonderful. The first days were busier than last year and we saw everyone we anticipated seeing," added Scott McEniry, Sales Engineer at Blue Sea Systems Inc.

Highlights of the show included the well-attended All-Industry Breakfast, where Dammrich delivered a “State of Industry” report, in which he noted continued growth in the industry. Rick Pitino, head basketball coach for the University of Louisville, delivered the keynote address. He shared several insights about leadership learned over his almost 40 year career and taking three separate teams to the Final Four.

Attendees were able to learn about and experience hundreds of new products throughout the three-day show. There were also several boats on display, featuring cutting-edge building techniques or technologies. "You have to be at IBEX to benefit from the impressive collection of industry professionals,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “It's the unexpected interactions that pay off; you have to be there to experience the face-to-face networking and the incredible value that IBEX offers."

Organizers and attendees indicated that they were already looking ahead to next year’s show, which will take place in Tampa, FL, September 30 – October 2, 2014. From this point forward, the show will rotate between Louisville and Tampa annually. "Rotating the location between Louisville and Tampa creates a fresh foundation each year that’s ideal for an innovation-focused show like IBEX," says Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director.  "We anticipate seeing a lot of new faces in Tampa next year and are excited to explore opportunities the new venue and city bring.”  

The IBEX 2014 Show will be held at the Tampa Convention Center, a world-class event space. Located on the waterfront, the facility is within walking distance of many hotels, fine restaurants and attractions, including Tampa’s Riverwalk, a popular pedestrian byway. The Convention Center features indoor and outdoor space, and dock space.



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