The international marina conference and exhibition, held in Melbourne 20 to 22 June, has been rated very positively by delegates and exhibitors.
Commenting after the final debrief the Chairman of the organizing committee Mike Harvey said 'analysis of the feedback from both delegates and exhibitors show the event was as well received as the highly rated predecessor Marinas 2009'. He said 'although delegate numbers were less than hoped for, the quality of presentations, the level of participation, and the sharing of ideas and information between those attending was notably better and more valuable to participants than at Marinas 2009'.
'The high Australian dollar impacted on our overseas delegate numbers but on the other-hand overseas exhibitor numbers were up as their products have become increasingly cost competitive in the Australian market,' he said.
Highlights of the conference included the key note address delivered by Joe Ueberroth, the President of Bellwether Financial Group Inc. He indicated in this current financial climate investment should focus on quality over growth and he was cautiously bullish about the future of the marine sector.
Dr Ed Mahoney launched the marinas report showing that marinas generate 6,400 jobs in Australia and create annual revenues of around $1.16B. He also launched a world first research project: the ‘2011 Australian Health of the Marina Industry Index’ and encouraged all marinas in Australia to register for participation.
Sessions on social media rated highly by delegates who appreciated being guided through the complexity of the topic and getting clear direction on how social media it can work as part of the business marketing mix.
The Marina of the Year Awards dinner was a great success. The winner in the first category Marinas Under 140 Boats was Soldiers Point Marina Port Stephens NSW. In the 140 boats and over category the winner was Empire Marina Bobbin Head NSW. The winner of the Club Marina category was the Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay NSW.
The field trip on the Wednesday took delegates by boat through the impressive Melbourne Docklands redevelopment with its four marinas and then included an inspection of d’Albora Marina Pier 35 marina. After passing marinas at Williamstown delegates travelled by bus to conclude the trip at Sandringham Yacht Club. Delegates were very impressed by the Club’s 340 floating berths, new multi-million dollar club house facilities and extensive boatyard.
MIAA President Andrew Chapman said Marinas 2011 was a major investment by MIAA on behalf of its members. 'The objective of the event is to assist marina businesses learn and expand their business knowledge; to network and share information and to celebrate and enjoy the camaraderie of industry colleagues.
To this end Marinas 2011 has been judged a great success by all those who invested their time and money in participating'. He said the organizing committee has already started planning for Marinas 2013 and the location will be announced early in 2012.
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