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The 58th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show achieved a 7% increase in attendance and a 4% growth in the number of boats on display over the past year.
"Informa's investments in the show delivered a superior visitor experience to previous shows," emphasized Andrew Doole, manager of Informa Exhibitions' division, adding that "excellent weather, a robust economy, realigned marketing efforts and a huge selection of new product offerings" ensured daily flow to the docks and exhibits.
After purchasing FLIBS in March 2017, along with four other US-based yacht shows operated by Yachting Promotions, for a total of $133 million, Informa faced many challenges, some of them unexpected. Thus, the previewed investment in the show's infrastructure rose due to the impact of Hurricane Irma that hit the coastal area of South Florida in September.
"Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show went really well, the latter particularly impressive given the limited amount of time we had to pull the event together after the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma," concluded the Group's finance director, Gareth Wright.
Informa's investment spanned every aspect of the show's experience, from multi-channel advertising to improved management of hotel reservations.
On the technical side, this included new plastic and fiberglass floating docks, new electrical equipment and trucks, as well as improved wayfinding graphics and signage for easier navigation and product location.
Innovations contributed to the enhanced show's appeal to the visitors, an impression confirmed by FLIBS participants, such as Ocean Alexander marketing executive, Sally Dolesky, who pointed out the following:
"We were very pleased with the traffic at this year's show and the feeling of optimism among our brokers and clients. New docks, clear dock-marking for those trying to find their way through an incredibly large location, and increased variety of food and beverage options all added to the enjoyment of our guests at the show."
Overall, FLIBS drew a worldwide audience, with nearly 105,000 buyers, sellers, and browsers among them. Customers had a larger selection of vessels to choose from, given the total increase of 4% in the number of boats on display, a 9% rise in new boats under 100 feet – approximately 30 meters – and a 10% growth in pre-owned boats over 100 feet, according to the evaluations presented by the event's managerial team.