Big crowds, beautiful boats, perfect weather and a newly revitalized West Palm Beach waterfront made this year's larger-then-ever Palm Beach International Boat Show a true marine lifestyle experience among boats shows. Show organizers reported an 11 percent increase in attendance over last year.
From March 24 to 27, scenic Flagler Drive was transformed into a multi-million dollar yachting experience featuring boats, yachts and accessories from the world's leading marine manufacturers. In addition to the impressive selection of boats for every budget, this year's Palm Beach International Boat Show offered an impressive array of interactive marine related activities including The Blue Wild Dive and Travel Show, the IGFA School of Sportfishing and Hook the Future Kids Fishing Clinics.
"The weather has been perfect, bringing lots of people to the show," said Larry Bonadeo, owner of Bonadeo Boatworks. "We've had double the amount of leads on Thursday and Friday compared to last year's show and it looks like a few sales will close. We have a unique product and the show brought us very qualified buyers."
Chatter along the docks revealed happy and excited show-goers. The picture-perfect yachting venue offered hassle-free access through convenient parking options and an easy-to-navigate show site. New show signage made getting around easier than ever before; refreshments and food were always just steps away on three floating cocktail barges or within the show's huge concession area offering a wide variety of fare. Dedicated local yachtsmen kept the show's Come-By-Boats docks full each day.
"The crowds at this year's show have been better than excellent," said Ralph Sarlay, manager of Boat Owners Warehouse. "I have been displaying at this show for 12 years and this has been the best yet."
Of the many product and industry debuts announced at this year's show, the buzz was about the relaunch of Boatquest.com. At a press event at the show, Active Interest Media announced that it acquired BoatQuest.com, an online classified site for buying and selling boats. BoatQuest.com joins AIM's other marine properties including Yachts Magazine and Show Management, presenter of five of Florida's largest boat shows, to create a powerful multi-medium marketing organization that covers online, print and boat show promotion.
The 26th Annual Palm Beach International Boat Show presented a total marine lifestyle experience enjoyed by families, veteran boaters, industry professionals and those looking to explore something new. For those at all weary of the state of the marine industry; a trip to this show provided a cool breeze of fresh air.
According to George Badcock, chairman of The Hacker Boat Company, builders of Hacker-Craft mahogany motor boats, "The Palm Beach show, as with all shows run by Show Management, was exceptionally well organized and executed. The staff was very responsive and supportive. The show drew the potential clientele we seek: affluent, sophisticated and appreciative of our fine boats. The location was superb. And most importantly, we have sold boats at the show."
Palm Beach International Boat Show
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