Serious buyers and near record breaking attendance at FLIBS 2012

Julia Budniak from Yachting Pages at FLIBS 2012
Michelle Williams
Despite Hurricane Sandy, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was only 2% down on attendance from the previous year. Exhibitors reported serious buyers, qualified leads and closed deals during the first two days, while the weekend attracted near record-breaking attendance.

Yachting Pages was among the exhibitors at the Show; the sales team exceeded their target and closed many deals.

As well as liaising with clients and meeting new contacts, Yachting Pages’ research team braved the storms of 2012’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), to capture key market research statistics. They can now reveal that, of the captains and first mates surveyed, 75% of those with the Yachting Pages marine directory on board used it regularly to find superyacht products, services and suppliers.

Andrew Harrison, first mate on board Aurora Dignitatis said, 'I think Yachting Pages is awesome. I use it for everything. It's nicely set out, the maps are great. I use it all the time.'

Following interviews with the captains and crew of over 100 superyachts at FLIBS, the directory’s detailed port maps also proved immensely popular, with captains and first mates using them to research new destinations, suppliers, and the contact details of port authorities throughout the Americas and Caribbean.

Riaan Coetzer, first mate of M/Y Katya, agreed, 'It’s absolutely great, very useful. As soon as I get the new one I always put it on the bridge.'

Julia Budniak, brand and marketing manager at leading superyacht directory Yachting Pages, helped with the face-to-face research at the show. She said, 'It was fantastic to meet our American clients, plus captains and crew in person.

'Over 70% of the superyachts we visited were over 30m in length, giving us a real feel for what superyachts need. Now it’s our job to continue to adapt our products to meet those needs, with the next edition of Yachting Pages USA, the Americas and Caribbean in the pipeline the feedback was very useful.'

The survey can also reveal that 90% of captains and crew found their internet service aboard to be 'OK' or 'Good to Excellent'. This underlines the technological advancements made by firms such as MTN Satellite Communications, e3 Systems and Sistemi Integrati Sicurezza.

Improved internet access at sea is also great news for www.yachting-pages.com, meaning that captains and crew can use the printed or online directories whenever and wherever they are. If internet access is a problem, digital versions of the book can be downloaded and saved for future reference here.

Efrem ‘Skip’ Zimbalist III, CEO of Show Management, the company that stages FLIBS, said that despite wet beginnings, show attendance surged at the weekend to come in just 2% lower than in 2011. He said, 'The number of boats in the water was up 10%. Boats under 80 feet were particularly strong, up 13% over 2011, as were brokerage boats over 126 feet, which were 15% ahead of last year.'

Whilst at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, Yachting Pages ran a competition to win free advertising space in the upcoming 2013 directories; the winners were recently announced as MTN Satellite Communications, Servowatch Marine Automation and Integrated Ship Solutions, and Broward Shipyard of Fort Lauderdale.

For further information about Yachting Pages, click here.
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