IBEX 2014 Preview

After four years inland, boatbuilders head southeast to put in, dockside, in Tampa Bay.
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When the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) gathers boat-manufacturing professionals in Tampa, Fla., Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2014, the new location will be complemented by a number of other innovations. By popular demand, IBEX cosponsors Professional BoatBuilder magazine (Brooklin, Maine) and the National Marine Manufacturers Assn. (NMMA, Chicago, Ill.) have adopted a rotating show schedule. They’ll sail into Tampa every other year to accommodate the large number of attendees and exhibitors who hail from the southeastern U.S., Latin America and the rest of the world. In alternate years, for the foreseeable future, they’ll return to the IBEX show’s second “home port” on the Ohio River, in Louisville, Ky. (Shows are scheduled through 2018. See “IBEX: Louisville/Tampa Rotation” graphic, at left.) 


On the waterfront

The alternating show schedule is just the beginning. For the first time in the show’s history, IBEX organizers have reserved bayside dock space for On-the-Water Exhibits and Demonstrations. Already booked for display on the bay are on-boat exhibits from some of the marine industry’s more recognizable names, including Elco Motor Yachts, Honda, JL Audio, JL Marine Systems, Mercury Marine, Nauticus, SeaStar Solutions, Simrad-Navico, Torqeedo Inc., UFLEX USA, Veedims, Volvo and Yamaha.

“We expect the IBEX docks to be very active,” says Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director. “Having water access directly in front of the convention center is an incredible opportunity for IBEX exhibitors to show off their new products and technology.”

In addition to the On-the-Water Exhibits, there will an outdoor demonstration area on a nearby 3,300 ft2 (278m2) patio. And inside the adjacent Tampa Convention Center, the show will boast a new Electronics Pavilion on the exhibition floor, a docket of pre-event IBEX Super Sessions (pre-conference workshops produced by exhibitors to review in-depth, hands-on technical topics) and a host of other educational opportunities presented in parallel to show floor activities.

The educational checklist will include the IBEX 3D Digital Workshop and the Material ConneXion. For the latter, IBEX has gathered what it calls “the world’s most influential and prominent manufacturers from all disciplines, categories and market segments,” who will showcase creative material solutions that are expected to have a big impact for marine applications. Attendees also will have access to more than 55 technical and pertinent education sessions — part of the IBEX Seminar Series, as well as free admission to the Exhibitor Workshop Theater, where attendees can hear from subject-matter experts employed by IBEX exhibitors about what’s new and exciting from individual suppliers. (For more information on these new events, visit the IBEX Web site: www.ibexshow.com.)

Another new area, dubbed The Connected Boat, will feature the latest in electronics and system installations. And of course, builders of composite boat structures will enjoy the ease of navigating, again, the Composites Pavilion, a gathering of composites materials and services providers in a convenient, accessible area on the show floor. A third area, now a regular feature at IBEX, will gather exhibitors whose expertise is related to Compliance, Standards, and Education.

IBEX expects a total of 510 exhibitors to occupy space on the indoor show floor, which encompasses more than 100,000 ft2 (9,290m2), and the additional outdoor/waterfront display areas.


Keynote and notable awards

In college basketball, the name Bob Knight is still one of the most recognizable in the history of the sport. Fans and foes alike respected his ability to draw from his players winning performances rivaling that of other greats. Knight will offer the IBEX keynote: His motivational speech, titled “Winning,” will be the centerpiece at the annual Industry Breakfast on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

“Coach Bob Knight is synonymous with greatness and winning, and we are thrilled to welcome this legendary basketball coach and avid fisherman to deliver the keynote address at the annual IBEX Industry Breakfast,” notes NMMA president Thom Dammrich. “Bob Knight’s impressive record on and off the basketball court illustrates his dedication to his team and the game, all values which will resonate with our attendees, who will be inspired by his drive to succeed.”

 Knight compiled quite a record (and courted some controversy) during his long career: Numbers and achievements that illustrate what Bob Knight has done for the game of basketball include 41+ seasons as a head coach of Division 1 teams, with a won/lost record of 902-371 — the most all-time at his retirement, and since eclipsed only by one of his former players, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, and by Jim Boeheim of Syracuse. 

Best known as the head coach at Indiana (1971-2000), where he led the Hoosiers to three NCAA championships, one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) title, and top honors in 11 Big Ten Conference seasons, Knight also coached at Texas Tech (2001-2008) and at Army (1965-1971). Notably, he boasted a 98 percent graduation rate among his players. 

He received the National Coach of the Year honor four times and the Big Ten Coach of the Year honor eight times. In 1984, he coached the USA men’s Olympic team to a gold medal, becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title and an Olympic gold medal.

In addition to his impressive record on the basketball court, Knight was inducted into the Vince Lombardi Titletown Legends, which pays tribute to those individuals who possess the characteristics instilled by Lombardi in his pro football players: dedication, teamwork, respect, love, family and discipline. 

Following Knight’s appearance, Dammrich will deliver his annual State of the Industry address, outlining where the industry stands and how far it has come, as it continues its recovery from the long 2008-2012 downturn. 

Other IBEX 2014 Industry Breakfast highlights include the following:

  • The IBEX Innovation Awards presentation, which acknowledges the importance of technological advancement. Each year, all IBEX 2014 exhibitors are encouraged to
  • enter new products in the IBEX Innovation Awards competition, considered one of the marine industry’s most prestigious honors. Products entered for the 2014 Innovation
  • Awards will be displayed during all three days of the show at Innovation Way, located inside the IBEX 2014 exhibit hall. The entry deadline is Aug. 29, 2014.
  • The NMMA Hall of Fame, which was established in 1988 and recognizes individuals who have, or continue to generate, substantial and lasting contributions toward the
  • advancement of the marine industry. According to NMMA, “It honors individuals whose names and deeds are synonymous with the pursuit of quality, innovation and
  • perfection within their respective spheres of expertise.” Excellence in the areas of product development, competitive activities, environmental protection, legislative
  • support and arts and entertainment can be considered for the award. It is NMMA’s most prestigious recognition.
  • The 2014 Movers & Shakers award. Individual nominees for this honor can be from any company or group that does business in the boating industry. Nominations go to those
  • who “are showing the vision and leadership to move the industry forward.” The Mover & Shaker of the Year, along with finalists and other selected nominees, will be featured
  • in the October issue of Boating Industry magazine and will be recognized at the IBEX breakfast. 
  • The Exhibitor Video Awards (EVAs) honors marketing efforts by recognizing the best product and company videos submitted by IBEX exhibitors. The goal of the EVA
  • competition is to showcase the technology and innovation exhibitors are bringing to IBEX and to create an interactive way for IBEX exhibitors to promote them-
  • selves and their products or services. EVAs will be presented in three categories: Best Company Video, Best Product Video, and People’s Choice. 

The breakfast, sponsored by Steyr Motors GmbH (Steyr, Germany) and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF, Alexandria, Va.), “is an exciting way to begin your IBEX experience,” says Dunbar. “We are thrilled to be rewarding innovation and recognizing the true leaders of the industry. We encourage people to register early, as this event will surely sell out.”

IBEX organizers also report that the American Boat Builders & Repairers Assn. will offer four training and certification Super Session on Monday, Sept. 29.


Show info & registration

Prospective attendees and exhibitors can find a plethora of general information about IBEX 2014 at www.ibexshow.com. Both groups also can register online for the Tampa event, and attendees can view a detailed Educational Conference agenda and get full pricing information for Seminar Packages at www.ibexshow.com/attendee-registration.php. Interested parties also can contact IBEX organizers via e-mail at info@ibexshow.com

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