The inaugural Marine13 International Conference and Exhibition well and truly lived up to the pre-event hype of being a milestone occurrence, industry-building and superlative networking forum for the marina, boating and allied industries.
Wrapping up yesterday after three days of seminars, social events and exhibitions, Marine13 will go down as a success at all levels. As a participant and visitor over two days, I can assert it was well worth the mammoth effort on the part of the organisers and sponsors, and extremely valuable for people serious about evolving to meet the challenges of a business landscape that is changing exponentially.
The quality of speakers and their material was excellent, feedback was positive in all regards and the mood - which stood out most to me as vastly different from the majority of industry events - was of sheer enthusiasm and collegiate interest and support. Even competitors acknowledged, we're all in the same boat.
This was the theme for the opening session featuring president of NMMA and veteran speaker at Australian events - and even he commented on the upbeat vibe - speaking about the advances for the Discover Boating program in America and the collaboration and 'all for one, one for all' attitude that the industry needs in order to build a firm foundation for a future of growth and prosperity.
'We are ambassadors for the boating lifestyle,' he said, urging us not to focus on product but on people and the benefits that boating opens up for all walks of life in every segment, from enjoying a meal at a marina
Speaking of enjoying a meal at a marina, Australia's best and my local, Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast, was one of the well-deserving winners at this year's MIA Awards, celebrated in style at Doltone House, Pyrmont on Monday night. Congratulations to all the winners whose stories we will run over the next few days.
The food, entertainment, company and genuine warmth among guests capped off the first day's proceedings perfectly.
Back from Sydney now, back to the grind, I have a real spring in my step and recharged admiration for the stoic, innovative people who make up the greater marine industry. I was just one among hundreds of delegates who say they met people in person for the first time, despite speaking with or receiving press information for the past decade! It really does make the world of difference to take the time and make the effort to attend these events. It's a boost, both professionally and in terms of passion for the industry.
If you missed this one, schedule your diary for 2015 when organisers say the next all-industry gathering will occur.
Yes, there's other news too this week, including details of new products, entertainment and attractions at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, and MarineBusiness-World's planned coverage of this, the 25th annual show for this iconic international fixture.
The Marine Business World pavilion is filled with the latest and greatest accessories in the boating industry - Sanctuary Cove Boat Show - Rosalie Taylor Click Here to view large photo
It's our third and final year as naming rights sponsor of the main Pavilion for a spell, so make sure you get in touch for information on the corporate and brand advantages of being prominent at one of the country's most popular trade and consumer shows.
by Jeni Bone, editor - 6:28 PM Tue 30 Apr 2013 GMT
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