FLIBS sees 7% attendance increase following Informa acquisition

The 58th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), held between 1st and 5th November 2017, saw an attendance increase of 7% on last year and a 4% growth in the number of boats on display, according to new organisers Informa Exhibitions.

In the group’s public statements, Informa’s manager Andrew Doole emphasised that new investment in the show delivered a “superior visitor experience to previous shows”. He praised “excellent weather, a robust economy, realigned marketing efforts and a huge selection of new product offerings” for the healthy flow of visitors to the docks and exhibits, with the managerial team announcing a worldwide audience of approximately 105,000 visitors, made up of buyers, sellers and enthusiasts.

A 9% increase was also reported in the number of new boats under 100 feet (30.48 metres), and 10% in pre-owned boats over 100 feet, respectively. 

Informa took over organisation of the annual event from long-term hosts Show Management back in March 2017, along with four other U.S-based yacht shows operated by Yachting Promotions for a total of $133 million.

The new organisers faced a number of challenges in putting on the much-loved show this year, namely with the increased investment required in infrastructure due to the impact of Hurricane Irma, which hit South Florida’s coastline back in September.

This added to previously announced investment in multi-channel marketing, software and hotel-booking solutions, according to Exhibitor Online, as well as new plastic and fibreglass floating docks, electrical equipment, trucks and improved tent flooring. New graphics and signage were also enlisted to make finding products and navigating the show’s seven locations easier than before. 

The group’s finance director, Gareth Wright, said, “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.”

For more information, visit Informa Exhibitions.

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