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Marinas24 deliveres more than just record numbers

by Marina Industries Association 2 Jun 23:23 PDT 27-28 May 2024
Marinas24 International Conference and Trade Exhibition © David Fell

Marinas24 International Conference and Trade Exhibition reaffirmed its place as one of the largest marina industry conferences in the world after welcoming 398 delegates across the two-day event in Brisbane last week. Event organizer, the Marina Industries Association (MIA) yet again demonstrated how to bring an industry together to collaborate for shared growth and success.

The program brought together a fantastic lineup of speakers that inspired delegates to capitalise on the strength of the industry through its relevant and thought-provoking content which focussed on design opportunities, innovative operational management and sharing solutions to industry challenges.

Opened by the Hon. Michael Healy MP, Queensland Minister for Tourism Industry Development, a strong supporter of the industry, Minister Healy highlighted the measures in place for future sector growth. An economic forecast and implications for the industry was delivered by Tapas Strickland, NAB Director of Economics, which set the scene nicely for Andrew Chapman, MIA President to present the latest Health of the Industry data and Suzanne Davies, MIA CEO to discuss how the MIA will support industry growth and success.

Plenty of industry issues and opportunities were explored in the concurrent sessions including insurance, legal implications, lithium, workforce challenges, alternate power sources, yield management and shared boat clubs.

Highlights from the conference included the opportunities for the industry in the lead up to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and an exceptional keynote panel of experts from Dana Point California, Sanctuary Cove and the greenfield site North Harbour shared their success in creating vibrant and profitable marina precincts. Wes Moxey, CEO Riviera brought the conference home with the inspiring, heartfelt story of the Rebirth of Riviera.

The exhibition was a resounding success for over 60 businesses that showcased their products and services. Bruce Birtwistle of Bellingham Marine commented, "This is our key tradeshow. It only happens every two years and is a very targeted event. We wouldn't miss it for the world. Not only do we do a lot of new business here, but it is also a great opportunity for us to catch up with our existing customers, socialise and importantly, show our support for the MIA and the industry".

Several highly relevant industry publications were launched at Marinas24. The 2023 Health of the Australian Marina Industry Report was released. The research conducted by Michigan State University collected data from over 40% of Australian marinas and found that in accordance with government supplied models, the 291 Australian marinas contribute over $2.4B to the Australian economy. The report is packed with social and economic data as well as performance metrics and will be supplied free of charge to all marinas that participated.

The MIA also launched its Climate Ready Guidance, a free member resource to help marina owners and operators transition to a low carbon economy and build resilience in their infrastructure and operations to mitigate the increasing weather-related climate impacts.

Nautilus Marine Insurance, supported by the MIA launched its guidance material for marinas and boat owners on the Risks and Management of Lithium Batteries. These resources provide users with information about lithium risks and best practice management and are available free to marinas to use and distribute to their customers.

As always, the social events are a major part of the experience for delegates. A Welcome Reception on the forecourt of the RICC was held amongst impressive exhibits from some of the industry's biggest players. A structured networking Happy Hour was held on Monday night ensuring delegates mixed outside of their usual connections, expanding their network. All the while, the Bellingham Bar at the foot of the conference hotel, was the social hub for everyone. The event closed with the Superior Jetties Soiree. Held at Howard Smith Wharves, the event was framed beautifully by the Brisbane River, the Story Bridge and the city skyline.

Even after a late night, 120+ delegates rose early for the Marinas24 Study Tour which took in Brisbane's biggest maintenance facilities, The Yard, Brisbane and Rivergate Marina and Shipyard before heading on to the newly acquired d'Albora Eastcoast Marina and Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

The MIA thanks all delegates, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors who contributed to Marinas24 being the biggest and best event yet. The MIA looks forward to uniting the industry again at Marinas26 and will announce the destination and venue very soon.

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