Attendance at this year’s show was up 5 percent overall and significantly more during prime selling days on Thursday through Saturday. Saturday alone was up 23 percent according to Show Management CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III.
“In addition to an increase in the number of attendees, the quality of attendance was excellent and exhibitors reported strong interest from the crowds,” said Zimbalist.
“The caliber and interest of show attendees seems to be up and people feel more at ease,” said Paul Spencer, owner and CEO of Spencer Yachts. “Spencer Yachts likes to be innovative and creative and the show gave us the opportunity to weigh public opinion on new design elements.”
The number of exhibitors also was up after two years of declining numbers. There were 1,087 exhibitors this year, a significant increase over 2009, with most describing this as the best show in three years. New exhibitions this year included a massive electronics tent, the Blue Wild Dive and Travel Show and IGFA Fishing Clinics.
Boat manufacturers overall are hopeful that stronger attendance figures and more confident buyers will set the course for a positive boat selling season. Many exhibitors reported large increases in the number of boats sold at the show, compared with the past few years. For the first time, the show sent invitations to every registered boat owner in the USA with a boat 35 feet or larger.
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Showtook place this year at five locations: Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Hall of Fame Marina, the Las Olas Municipal Marina, the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, the Sails Marina and the Broward County Convention Center.