Chicago, IL -
October 16, 2008: Relief mixed with guarded optimism best describes the 2008 International Boat Builders’ Exposition and Conference (IBEX), which closed Wednesday, October 8, 2008. A majority of the 750 exhibitors reported it was business as usual as most of the leading boat builders came to see, buy and place orders, despite the harsh economic climate.
Preliminary figures indicate 3,924 qualified attendees, down 14.1 percent from IBEX 2007. International guests from 62 countries attended, which accounted for 12.5 percent of verified attendance.
“Given market conditions we were not surprised by the drop in attendance and are heartened by the quality of attendees who invested in IBEX 2008,” says Carl Cramer, IBEX show co-director. “In many ways, this was an extremely effective show with leaders of today and tomorrow emphasizing our ability to withstand economic downturns and giving us hope, as an industry, for the future.”
“We were shocked at the show’s success,” says Darren Bach, President, Pacific Coast Marine Windshields. “The people coming to our booth were serious buyers and looking for ways to improve their product line.”
“We were able to deliver quality attendance in the current economic climate to further reinforce IBEX as the leading boat building event of its kind,” says Kathleen Clickett, IBEX show co-director. “We heard a great deal of positive feedback on the show floor and were pleased to hear so many exhibitors had an exceptional show.”
Jason Gardiner, SeaDek, an IBEX 2008 exhibitor, offers his comments, “All OEM’s we were targeting were in attendance and looking for samples and prototypes. It was business as usual and we had a good show.”
The largest new exhibitor at IBEX 2008, Cauldwell Marine of South Africa, notes, “ IBEX 2008 provided an ideal platform for Caudwell Marine to introduce the Axis Drive™ technology to the U.S. market. We achieved our objectives of impressing and exciting the targeted OEM boat builders with our revolutionary propulsion system. ’’
Exhibit space for IBEX 2009 can be reserved now. Companies interested in receiving exhibitor information should contact Tina Sanderson at (802) 879-8321 or Anne Dunbar at (716) 662-4708.
About the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference: IBEX is owned and produced by Professional BoatBuilder magazine and National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). For boat builders, designers, repairers, surveyors, and boatyard/marine operators, IBEX is the single source for the latest boatbuilding technologies, tools, and materials. For more information, visit the IBEX Web site at www.ibexshow.com.
About Professional Boatbuilder magazine: Professional BoatBuilder, a boatbuilding-industry trade magazine, was first published in 1989 in response to a growing need for a dedicated forum for boatbuilding-related professionals. The magazine’s worldwide readership exceeds 24,000 (subject to BPA International audit). Professional BoatBuilder is online at www.proboat.com.
About NMMA: NMMA is the premier trade association for the U.S. recreational-boating industry, and its members produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories, and gear used by boaters and anglers nationwide. NMMA is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product-quality assurance, and marketing communications.