Plans are moving full steam ahead for the 57th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), with show organizers hard at work since the conclusion of last year’s event on new ideas for delivering the best visitor experience ever in 2016. This year’s show takes place from Thursday, November 3 through Monday, November 7 at seven locations connected by a network of water and land transportation.
FLIBS is the largest in-water boat show in the world, attracting a world-wide audience of approximately 100,000 boating enthusiasts who share a common interest in life on the water. The show draws an impressively diverse, international crowd of buyers, sellers and browsers who come to see the latest that the global boating industry has to offer and to do business in the “Yachting Capital of the World.”
“Each year we take steps to improve upon the last event. Guests can expect an elevated experience at this year’s show,” said Brett Keating, vice president of consumer marketing for Show Management, the event’s producer. “Many exhibitors and attendees have shared some great ideas with us and we’ve been able to activate many of them. We’re looking forward to great feedback on the additions to this year’s event.”
Following are several highlights of new features planned for this year’s show:
Redesigned Exhibition Space
Capitalizing on the power of the words “made in America,” the Yacht Builders Tent at the Bahia Mar show location has been rebranded as the American Pavilion and sponsored by the U.S. Superyacht Association (USSA). The yacht-specific exhibit space will house 40 “made-in-America” companies serving the superyacht industry. The new pavilion layout also will include educational seminars on topics such as charter, travel, new technology and electronics, and yacht toys. Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard will be available to answer questions regarding cruising U.S. waters. New this year for USSA members, the Aft Deck VIP Lounge will offer refreshments and food each day.
“We’ve more than doubled our space this year creating a unique destination within the show designed to shine the spotlight on American yachting service and cruising excellence,” said Kitty McGowan, manager of the USSA.
The largest tent located at the center of the show’s Bahia Mar location, formerly known as the Yachting Tent. has been renamed the Superyacht Pavilion and redesigned with newly reconfigured isles and a central, full-service bar serving morning coffee and drinks and snacks throughout the day. Other exhibit tents located at Bahia Mar also have been renamed and include the Marine Equipment Tent, Boating Accessories Tent, Engine Tent and Electronics Tent. Complete show maps and site plans can be found at FLIBS.com.
Layout changes also include relocating the floating village composed of members of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), previously situated along the Face Dock at Bahia Mar, to the Hall of Fame Marina, immediately to north of Bahia Mar.
Food & Beverage News
Expect a bigger and better selection of onsite dining options throughout the show.
At the show’s Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center location, which for years has been one of the best places to grab a bite to eat, the Convention Center’s in-house catering company, known as SAVOR, will offer creative food and beverage pairing menus and a new buffet on the second floor overlooking the expansive display of boats below, in addition to its previous menu favorites.
Outside the Convention Center, air conditioning now fills the show’s Sailfish Pavilion, which is sure to be great news for everyone shopping for the latest in center consoles, personal water craft and boating accessories. Enjoy hot new products in a cool new Sailfish Pavilion!
Prepare to Take the Helm
Nothing beats learning from an expert when it comes to improving your boating skills. First-time boaters and seasoned skippers alike can improve their boat handling skills at courses sponsored by Carefree Boat Club. Instruction includes basic and advanced docking skills, anchoring and multi-vessel rafting techniques, open water boat handling, first mate skills and more.
Participants will learn from professional, certified, USCG-licensed captains. Space is limited and advanced registration is highly recommended. Participants are encouraged to register online in advance at ShowManagement.com or during the show at the Powerboat Skills Training Center located at the end of “B” Dock at Bahia Mar.
Catamaran Cove returns to the show’s Pier 66 Marina location, back by popular demand. This dedicated catamaran section, which was met with great enthusiasm at the 2015 show, will feature approximately 20 catamarans, both power and sail, ranging in size from 35 to 95 feet from manufacturers including Gemini, Horizon, Lagoon, Leopard and Sunreef.
Returning to the Convention Center this year are the always-popular IGFA School of Sportfishing, The Blue Wild dive and marine art show, and Hook The Future kids’ fishing clinics.
More about FLIBS
The 57th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is set to take place November 3-7 at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center, the Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
The world’s largest in-water boat show, FLIBS covers seven locations with nearly 1,500 boats displayed across more than 3 million square feet of exhibit space. The show draws approximately 1,000 exhibitors from more than 30 countries that display an amazing array of boats, marine products and accessories, from astonishing super-yachts, fishing boats, runabouts and boats for every budget, to fishing gear, marine art, jewelry and more, all valued at more than $4 billion.
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show® is owned and presented by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, managed and produced by Show Management and sponsored by Audi, Bank of America, Gosling’s, International Gamefish Association (IGFA), Smallwood’s Yachtwear and Taiwan Excellence.