IBEX: International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference 2019

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE: The International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference 2020 (IBEX 2020) will go on as scheduled from Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2020. The IBEX 2020 partners are closely monitoring developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic to implement any necessary changes.

Read the IBEX 2020 official statement here. The rest of this article is about IBEX 2019.


If you’re in the recreation marine industry, there’s no better place for you to gain exposure for your business and stay current on the latest industry trends than the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference. This three-day event is reserved for industry professionals only, which puts the best minds in the building, design, service or sales of boats and marine products together for the exchange of ideas and innovation.

Learn more about the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference 2019 (IBEX), the largest marine industry trade event in North America.


One owner of IBEX is the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association, North America’s leading trade organization for the recreational boating industry. Its member companies are responsible for the production of over 80% of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and gear for boaters in North America. The National Marine Manufacturers’ Association seeks to improve the industry for its members by providing domestic and international sales and marketing opportunities, decreasing business costs and promoting interest in recreational boating, as well as reducing excessive government regulations.

RAI Amsterdam is another co-owner of IBEX and an international exhibition and convention company that organizes events abroad. With over 500 annual exhibitions, conventions and other events, RAI has welcomed 1.5 million visitors and provides event-related services to exhibitors, visitors and organizers.

IBEX is also powered globally by METSTRADE, the world’s leading platform and community for professionals in the leisure marine equipment industry.


As the premier industry trade event for those working in the recreational marine industry, IBEX offers over 700 exhibits across multiple exhibit halls, outdoor patios and the IBEX Docks. As a show for trade professionals only, the primary focus of IBEX ’19 is to contribute to the industry with exceptional training and educational opportunities from some of the leading experts in the industry, along with a targeted audience of marine industry manufacturers and suppliers, aftermarket manufacturers and service providers.

IBEX ’19 takes place from Oct. 1-3, 2019, at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.


The IBEX Seminar Series is designed to provide the fundamental skills and advanced training for professionals in the boat manufacturing, design and repair industries. In collaboration with Professional Boatbuilder, ABYC, ABBRA, ABYC and the NMMA, the technical team at IBEX offers eight educational tracks to cater to the varied needs within this diverse industry, including:

  • Design and engineering.
  • Onboard systems.
  • Composite methods and materials.
  • Marine electrical systems.
  • Manufacturing management and policy.
  • Survey and repair.
  • Boatyard and marina operations.

Continuing Education Units will be provided for paid and verified participants in IBEX seminars, as well as Professional Development Credits at the discretion of the sponsoring organization.


On Sunday and Monday, Sept. 29 and 30, IBEX is hosting a number of Super Sessions that cover a variety of basic and advanced topics and issues within the recreational marine industry. Sponsored by such organizations as the Association of Marina Industries, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and SNAME, these sessions focus on the most prominent skill sets and solutions across many industry verticals for the advancement of the industry as a whole.

Some of these educational opportunities include:

  • Marina 101.
  • Modern Scantlings.
  • Marina and Boatyard Study Tour.
  • NMEA 2000 Installer Training.
  • Fiberglass Boat Repair.

Regardless of your experience level or role in the marine industry, you can benefit from attending one of these sessions and learning from the pioneers in the industry.


As the largest North American marine trade show, IBEX works to pack as much education and networking opportunity as possible into its three days.

Here’s the list of these can’t-miss events:

  • IBEX Industry Breakfast and Innovation Awards with Keynote Speaker Sam Potolicchio, who specializes in government, leadership and political communications.
  • Grow Boating Marketing Summit, a full day of learning focused on the digital marketing trends and practices that apply to the marine industry.
  • IBEX Special Seminar: Return to Thunderboat Row. This special panel includes men who built and drove the boats of the Golden Age of Offshore Powerboat Racing, such as Odell Lewis, Bob Saccenti and Steve Curtis.
  • IBEX Vacuum Bagging Challenge, an exciting competition that pits teams of two head-to-head to see who can seal a vacuum bag around a 4×4 panel in the fastest time.
  • IBEX Product Pitches, a live product presentation of the newest products on the floor as selected by industry journalists. Following the presentations, there will be a question and answer session with press and buyers.
  • IBEX All-Industry Happy Hour, a social event for participating exhibits with drinks and hors d’oeuvres.


For the 2019 show, IBEX will feature the Designer Challenge. Here, the industry’s top designers and architects under 30 compete to showcase concept boats for the model year 2050. Competitors will be asked to submit study plans for the successful boat or 3D renderings, interior layout and systems, a description of materials and construction, performance expectations and a narrative description of the boat’s intended use, which includes expectations for how the industry may evolve in 30 years. Top designs will be selected during the show and published in the upcoming Professional Boatbuilder magazine.

The IBEX Docks are larger this year as well, including more dock slips at the Tampa Convention Center waterfront and more boats with the newest technology and accessories.


If you’re in the recreational boating industry, IBEX provides you with the single largest platform in North America for brand exposure and business advancement. With 125,000 square feet of exhibit space across four exhibit halls, over 40 dock slips and over 700 exhibiting companies from 20 countries, as well as new exhibitors being added each day, there’s never been this much opportunity in one place.

In addition, IBEX puts your brand in front of the right people. 30% of attendees are owner/operators or CEOs, 66% of attendees are in a position to say “yes” to that new product or service and 79% of attendees visit IBEX with the intent of making buying decisions.

Whether you’re looking to promote new products or showcase new technology, increase your OEM or aftermarket sales, network with industry leaders, generate leads and contacts or stay on top of the current industry trends, IBEX can do wonders for the future of your business.


Trade show success is just as much about marketing as it is about networking, and that all starts with your trade show booth. As one of your most lucrative marketing investments, your booth is an extension of your brand identity, so a basic setup just won’t do.

If you’re attending a trade show packed with other industry professionals, such as IBEX ’19, you need to make sure your trade show booth catches attention, attracts visitors and gives you the most opportunity to market your business. With all the seminars, displays and exhibitors at IBEX, it’s vital that you create an experience that makes your potential customers stick around.

Here are some tips:

Focus on the details and your goals for the show, so you can tailor your entire booth experience toward reaching your audience.

  • Evaluate your past trade show metrics and look for areas you can improve this time around.
  • Design your booth’s structure, graphics and marketing materials around your brand identity and develop a plan for holding your customers’ interest and telling a compelling story about your brand.
  • Use digital materials to enhance your brand’s message and make sure they fall in line with the product or service you’re offering.
  • Consider having yourself or a team member speak at the event, which establishes your thought leadership and drives traffic to your booth.

With the right planning, you can be sure that you get the most out of your investment and leave a lasting impression on the attendees at IBEX.


If you’re planning to exhibit at IBEX ’19, North America’s largest trade show for the recreational marine industry, you need to pull out all the stops to be sure you stand out. At Xibit Solutions, our expert team has years of experience helping business owners with all aspects of trade show exhibiting, from creating memorable booth experiences to custom booth graphics. We’ve helped industry leaders in a variety of fields, so let us help you take your industry presence to the next level with customized solutions that complement your business.

Contact the team at Xibit Solutions to learn more about our trade show services and get started with your plan for IBEX ’19!