by Jeni Bone
IBEX 2011, held recently in Louisville Kentucky USA, has tabulated the results, and despite a decline in attendance figures, organisers are satisfied with exhibitor feedback and are positive the change in venue was a step forward for this global marine trade event.
IBEX attracts interest from boat builders around the world.
The 21st annual show netted out at 4,672 total attendance, compared to 5,161 for 2010 - a 9% decrease from last year.
'While attendance was down, we received many comments that the 2011 event brought a quality crowd, and exhibitors saw who they wanted to see and reported strong business leads,' organisers stated.
According to event management, there are a couple of reasons that accounted for a drop in registration this year – dates and the proximity to the Ft. Lauderdale show, which caused some boat builders to send fewer people, as they were needed at the plant to get boats ready; and while we’re seeing more optimism in the industry, business is still slow, and some took a pass this year but indicated they will be back in 2012.
Among the comments from attendees and exhibitors were the following:
'IBEX was fantastic for the National Marine Representatives Association. We had excellent traffic at our booth. Our workshop on harnessing the power of independent reps was a success. The attendees were happy with the content and the IBEX team was very helpful along the way. We're already planning bigger things for IBEX 2012.' Chris Kelly, Waters & David Co. and NMRA president.
'IBEX has been and remains important to us because during these last few years of a slower than average economy, our experience has been that the quality of attendees has been much higher. By quality I mean that the persons visiting our booth were in key decision making positions. We are seeing more owner's and top executives. And he value of seeing our customers, getting to say thank you and getting to say hello to old friends is priceless.' Ronnie Free, Frees Inc.
'We were pleasantly surprised at the strong International presence at this year’s IBEX. Turning Point closed deals that added distributors in Germany, Puerto Rico, and Turkey during the show, we had meaningful discussions with a new Japanese customer, and we fielded serious inquiries from potential customers in South/Central America, the EU, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean.' Ron Bailey, Turning Point Propellers.
'Business was non-stop day one and day two. We generated more leads than expected and to-date, we’re estimating $200,000 to $300,000 of new business!' Kommerling, Kent Janeway.
The next three years of IBEX are scheduled for a Tuesday-Thursday date pattern (vs. Monday-Wednesday in 2011). Dates are as follows:
• IBEX 2012: October 2–4, 2012
• IBEX 2013: September 17–19, 2013
• IBEX 2014: September 16–18, 2014
Stats & Facts:
• The IBEX Mobile Web Site was downloaded by 1000+
• The expanded seminar series was well received, with more than 90 seminars spanning every topic in the industry. If you would like details on record turnouts at certain seminars; the most in-demand, I’m happy to provide numbers.
• Exhibitors & attendees are all settling to life in Louisville, and given attendance and feedback from exhibitors and attendees, the majority seem pleased with the location.
• Exhibit space surpassed 100,000 square feet, an eight percent jump over 2010 (103,900 vs. 95,700)
• More than 60 first-time exhibitors
• Due to the exchange rate, IBEX 2011 saw a lot of international attendees.
IBEX is owned and produced by Professional BoatBuilder magazine and National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and is the largest technical trade event for the marine industry in North America.
More at www.ibexshow.com