From Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director

Thank you for helping us to make IBEX Tampa 2014 an incredibly successful show.  I know selecting Tampa as a location for IBEX was the right choice.  It was energizing to see our industry well-represented, helping us create a vibrant, reinvigorated show.  Given the unique offerings of the Tampa Convention Center with its on-water options and close proximity to marine businesses throughout the Southeast boating region, we look forward to returning to Tampa in 2016.

I’m equally excited about the opportunities that lie ahead in Louisville, KY in 2015. Louisville’s proximity to leading boat builders and manufacturers across the Midwest, North and South, make it a central, low-cost destination for a majority of our industry. In addition, our plans for Louisville, which we’ll begin to unveil in the coming months, promise to bring a renewed momentum to this location.

While some of our community requested that IBEX remain in Tampa in 2015, the many benefits Louisville offers guided our decision to keep IBEX in Louisville in 2015.  In addition, keeping IBEX on course for Louisville honors our prior commitments to the city, the convention center, and several hotel chains we do business with. I feel strongly that acting with integrity to honor our commitments is important.

I am dedicated to a long-term strategy of rotating IBEX between the two largest areas of boat building and marine manufacturing in North America. Each year, the show will shift between a central location and a Florida location.  Show dates for IBEX Tampa 2016 are October 4 – 6, 2016.

I believe this creates the right combination for IBEX. One that brings together boat builders and decision makers who value IBEX and recognize that location is secondary to the business the show generates and the growth it brings to our industry.

We’d like to announce and invite you to join us as we celebrate our 25th IBEX, September 15-17, 2015 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. In addition to the valuable networking you’ve become accustomed to in Louisville, in 2015 the entire industry will celebrate 25 years of marine innovation, technology, and excellence as IBEX rolls out the red carpet in honor of our 25th event. It will be a party you won’t want to miss and a milestone we can all be proud of.

Thank you for supporting IBEX and being a valued partner.  Please feel free to contact me anytime.


Anne Dunbar

IBEX Show Director

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With An Increase In Attendance Exhibitors Provide Positive Feedback As IBEX 2014 Enters Final Day At Tampa Convention Center

An overwhelming majority of the exhibitors at the 2014 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (#IBEX14) were thrilled with the quality and quantity of attendees at this annual marine industry trade show which is now in its final day. The conference kicked off at 8:30 am today and the exhibit hall will be open from 10 am – 3 pm.

“Attendance is up over previous years and the response to the Tampa venue has been extremely positive,” said Anne Dunbar, Show Director of IBEX. “We thank our partners, the exhibitors, attendees, speakers and press for helping make our return to Florida a huge success.” Final attendance numbers will be released at the close of the show.

IBEX 2014 Exhibit Floor

Social media, managed by Josh Chiles, Founder, Engaged! spread quickly with mentions for IBEX surpassing 1 million impressions faster than any year before. The Exhibitor Video Awards: People’s Choice Awards Facebook application also set a new record with over 2,180 votes cast.

Exhibitors had this to say about the first two days of the event:

“The entire IBEX experience has been great for us as a new exhibitor with a new product. Getting face-to-face exposure with media, buyers, distributors, and fellow manufacturers has been invaluable. In 3 days we have been able to reach decision makers and get product feedback that may have taken years to acquire otherwise. And from an organizational and professional environment IBEX is running a first class event,” Steve Fill, President, Docktail Bar.

“IBEX is the best venue for the marine industry and this event has been a great show with great traffic. We had the opportunity to meet with key customers and potential customers and tell them not only about our products but also about our company as we celebrate our 20th anniversary,” said Matt Peat, executive vice president, Transhield USA.

“We are new to the marine industry and we received a very warm welcome. We met with a lot of great people and got some very strong leads. We have been able to introduce new material ideas to the marine industry which have been used successful in the motorcycle, military and fashion industries,” said Caroline Berna, Account Manager Material ConneXion.

“The 2014 IBEX was terrific and we received a lot of great feedback about the new format for The Connected Boat, which we partnered with IBEX on. . People in the marine industry are much more comfortable with wireless technology and understanding that Cloud-based services are now a reality. We met with a lot of potential customers and well qualified leads. We are looking forward to Louisville in 2015,” said Steve James, Vice President of Chetco Digital.

“This is our first time at IBEX, and we were very pleased with the reaction from the Marine Industry to our 3-D printing machines. This has been a great show, and the attendees were excited about this new concept of printing their own prototypes within hours,” said Vince Denino, of Prototyping Solutions a representative of Stratasys 3D.

At the end of the day, Professional BoatBuilder magazine hosted a VIP Reception for their 25th Anniversary by recognizing the advertisers who started with them in 1989 when the publication first launched, and are still advertising. Those advertisers included American Boat Builders and Repairers Association, Awlgrip, Baltek Corporation, Epifanes, Paul Gardner Company, Gougeon Brothers (PRO-SET & WEST System) Interlux, Marine Concepts, Marine Machining & Manufacturing, Paneltronics, Soundown Corporation, Systems Three Resins, Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology.

“‘We thank these companies and recognize them for having the courage to sign on as advertisers during our first year of publication and are still with us a quarter of a century later. We will continue our dedication to bringing our readers the skills, materials, and technologies of building and repairing boats,” said Aaron Porter, Editor, Professional BoatBuilder magazine.

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At the International Boat Builders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) Industry Breakfast this morning, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced winners of the 2014 IBEX Innovation Awards.

NMMA created the Innovation Awards program to recognize significant contributions to marine technology. The winning products were selected from 90 entries by a panel of experienced technical boating journalists from Boating Writers International (BWI). IBEX, the premier boating industry technical trade show and networking event, runs through Thursday at the Tampa Convention Center.

The 2014 IBEX Innovation Award winners are:

Boatbuilding Methods & Materials: Protomet Corporation, G4 Tower

Honorable Mention: Bogantec Marine, Eco-Teak System

Deck Equipment & Hardware: TACO Metals Inc., Stainless Steel Ratchet Hinge

Honorable Mention: JL Marine Systems, Power Pole Micro

Furnishings & Interior Parts: Kenyon International, Silken Grill Lid

Mechanical Systems (Co-Winners)

Dometic Corporation, Variable Capacity Chiller

Webasto Thermo & Comfort North America, Inc., BlueCool Variable Speed Chiller

Electrical Systems: Marinco/Mastervolt, ProInstaller Series Clustering System

Inboard Engines: Mercury Marine, MerCruiser 4.5L 250 hp Sterndrive

Outboard Engines: Suzuki Motor of America, DF25A – Outboard Motor 25 hp

Boatyard Hardware/Software and Dealer Equipment: Trimaco, E-Z Floor Guards

Honorable Mention – Skudo, Tack-Mat

Propulsion Parts, Gauges & Propellers: Gemeco Marine Accessories, Offshore Dual Engine Display Boat Care and Maintenance: Gold Eagle Co., STA-BIL 360 Fuel Treatment

Honorable Mention – Intertape Polymer Group, SMT-1

OEM Electronics: Medallion Instrumentation Systems, Medallion Viper II Malibu Command Center

Honorable Mention: Wet Sounds Inc., WW-BT VC Bluetooth Volume Controller

Trailers, Parts and Trailer Accessories: Magic Tilt Trailers, Custom Reinforced Tube Trailer

Environmental Award: BluSkies International LLC, Diurnal Control Valve

BWI members who served on the 2014 IBEX Innovation Awards judging panel:

Zuzana Prochazka, Awards Chair, writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites including BoatU.S., SAIL, Sea, Yachtworld, and others.

Bill Bishop, writer for numerous publications including the popular The Marine Installers Rant blog who had a pre-boating career in industrial automation.

Ben Ellison, editor of, his work can also be found in Power and Motoryacht magazine and Sail, along with Soundings, Passagemaker, and Yachts International.

Brady Kay, editor for Pontoon & Deckboat magazine, as well as Houseboat magazine.

Beth Leonard, Director of Technical Services for BoatU.S. and editor of Seaworthy, a marine publication dedicated exclusively to vessel seaworthiness and boating safety.

Mark Masciatorre, principal of DSG Associates, a consultancy specializing in the construction of custom yachts and small commercial vehicles.

Judy Waldman, President of JW Yachts, is a lifelong cruiser specializing in trawlers, long-range cruisers, and unique yachts, who writes for and several blogs.

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IBEX Kicks Off at Tampa Convention Center with Industry Breakfast and Keynote Address by Bob Knight

Over 650 marine industry professional packed into the Industry Breakfast and Awards Ceremony to kick off the 24th Annual International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) taking place this week at the Tampa Convention Center. In addition to a dynamic presentation by NCAA Division 1 Head Coach Bob Knight and the State of the Industry address by Thom Dammrich, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association there were several important industry awards presented.

“We are thrilled to be here in Tampa for the first time and feel the energy and excitement from the attendees and exhibitors as we kick off this year’s IBEX event,” said Anne Dunbar, Show Director. “With a sold out show floor featuring 573 exhibiting companies, and over 7,000 marine professionals registered to attend, thousands of new and innovative products are being offered on the show floor, and over 55 technical seminars, the next three days will certainly inspire and educate boatbuilding professionals from around the country.”

During the Industry Breakfast several awards were presented, including:

  • The Exhibitor Video Awards, or EVAs, honoring the best product and company videos
  • The Best Company Video Award was presented to Marinco/Mastervolt
  • The Best Product Video Award was presented to SeaStar Solutions
  • The People’s Choice Award was presented to SeaStar Solutions
  • The Boating Industry Mover & Shaker of the Year was presented to Jim Lane, President and Buck Pegg, Founder of Chaparral Boats and Robalo who have both embraced change and adapted to today’s radically different boating industry.

The Mel Barr Award which honors an individual who has contributed to the improvement of the marine industry through personal involvement was presented to Zach McLanahan, After Market Sales Manager at T-H Marine Supplies.

During the breakfast the NMMA also presented the IBEX Innovation Awards acknowledging the importance of technological advancements in the marine industry and the Marine Industry Customer Satisfaction Index Awards. For a complete list of winners, visit

Thom Dammrich, president of the NMMA presented the State of the Industry address and provided key facts including: Recreational boating in the US is a $36.7 billion industry and creates 338,526 marine industry jobs (manufacturing, dealers/wholesalers, services) at 34,833 marine industry businesses. According to the 2014 Outlook, Newest Data (June 2014) – Recreational Boating in the US, the NMMA is anticipating continued steady growth this year with a 5-7% increase in new powerboat sales.

Following the awards breakfast attendees walked the aisles of the vast exhibit hall where they had the chance to see many exciting new features including The Connected Boat, showcasing a variety of systems interconnected using existing network technology; the 3D Digital Workshop, providing ongoing demonstrations of 3D printing and scanning technologies applicable to the marine industry; the Material ConneXion, providing direct access to the world’s largest resource for advanced, innovative, and sustainable materials and processes; and the IBEX Docks, showcasing live demos, new products and technology on the water. The exhibit hall will be open from 10 am – 6 pm Tuesday, September 30 and Wednesday, October 1st and from 10 am – 3 pm on Thursday, October. For the complete schedule, visit

Attendees and exhibitors will have the opportunity to network for a good cause tonight at the IBEX Opening Night “Party for a Purpose,” sponsored by the NMMA’s Accessory Manufacturers Division (AMD) Board of Directors. The evening will include live music, drink specials, cigar rolling, and a food truck rally featuring Tampa’s best cuisine on wheels, while attendees learn about important advocacy work being done on behalf of the boating industry.

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IBEX is less than three weeks away and we’ve got a great line-up of education, demos, interactive displays, and the newest products and technology in the marine industry. Here’s a quick outline of some of the cool stuff you can expect to see at IBEX Tampa 2014.

LIVE at IBEX – Be sure to see all of the new, interactive displays throughout the exhibit floor:

3D Digital Workshop - See ongoing demonstrations of 3D printing and scanning technologies applicable to the marine industry and meet the experts who will give you hands-on access to 3D printers, laser cutters, 3D scanners,  and more!

Material ConneXion – Gain direct access to the world’s largest resource for advanced, innovative, and sustainable materials and processes.  Located in the Composites Pavilion there will be daily, hands-on presentations at 11:30 AM and 2:30 PM.

The Connected Boat – See a variety of boat systems interconnected using existing network technology.  These are real-world solutions using real-world systems. Located in the Electronics Pavilion, a live display ongoing throughout the show.

You’re Invited! Please join us. 

The Opening Night “Party for a Purpose” – Located at The Sail Pavilion, just outside the Tampa Convention Center on the Riverwalk from 6 PM – 8 PM. Enjoy the best of Tampa while networking with the entire marine industry – live music, cigar rolling, and a food truck rally.

Compliance Coffee – Meet the experts to learn the latest developments in international compliance, standards, and education and enjoy a free cup of coffee. Located in the Compliance, Standards & Education Pavilion, 9 AM – 11 AM for exhibitors and 10 AM – 11 AM for attendees.

Social Media Lounge – Learn directly from Josh Chiles, social media guru, who will be offering free education and hands-on experience t elevate your social media knowledge.

To learn more about IBEX and all that we have planned, visit our website: 

And if you still need to register, click here. 

We look forward to seeing you at IBEX Tampa 2014, Sept 30 – Oct 2, at the Tampa Convention Center.



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Don’t Just Show Up.

The worst thing an exhibitor can do is just show up. We love it when an IBEX exhibitor asks us to work with them to create a new and exciting on-site marketing opportunity. This year at IBEX Tampa you’ll see very creative marketing and branding. We’ve signed nondisclosure agreements, brainstormed, and several exhibitors are really doing amazing things to get attention, build their brand, and it will pay off. Not everything is doable obviously, but we do our best to say yes.

So, exhibitors, if you haven’t got your head in the game, it’s time to start getting creative. It’s not just about your alloted exhibit space. Exhibitors who do aggressive and clever marketing and pre-show planning rarely have a bad experience at our show. Use the Marketing Tool Kit or check out the Sponsorship & Advertising Opportunities for inspiration.

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Come see us in Miami!

IBEX will be at the Miami International Boat Show this week, come see us! You’ll find Anne Dunbar, Show Director and Kate Holden, Marketing Director, in the NMMA Member Lounge, Thursday & Friday, February 13th and 14th, from 11 am – Noon, 3rd floor pod – overlooking Hall B.  #MiamiBoatShow

We look forward to seeing you in Miami!

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Blue And Purple Are The New Black.

Really? OK. For IBEX 2014 Orange is the new Green.

So our new color isn’t trendy, we did get incredible feedback about it at IBEX 2013 and we feel it evokes sunny Florida. In fact, it’s not just “orange” to us, we have lovingly titled it “Tampa Tangerine.” You’ll see it soon when the IBEX Tampa 2014 website goes live – stay tuned!

And please check out the full list of Forbes’ 10 Takeaways from CES for more insights and trends for 2014:

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Boost Trade Show ROI

As the marine industry’s show schedule slows down a bit for the holidays, we all can take this opportunity to get caught back up. I found this article on trade show ROI and b2b lead generation very timely and I hope it will be helpful to you. I too sit with a pile of business cards that need my attention and this article offered me inspiration. It also offers a great 7 step plan for converting leads to sales.

Read on…

Boosting Trade Show ROI and Maximizing B2B Lead Generation


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Social Media Trade Show Techniques

The results of the 2013 IBEX surveys indicate our industry is not the most social media savvy group out there – me included! But I understand the importance of making social media a larger part of IBEX and we will do that in 2014.  Let’s grow IBEX’s social media community together – and use these platforms for important marine industry discussions.

Join  the IBEX community on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +.

This great article will get you started planning your social media for IBEX Tampa 2014:

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