The annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, now in its 59th year, is the premiere global yachting event and the largest in-water boat show in the world. Staged this year from October 31-November 4, it attracts an international audience of thousands of boating enthusiasts from Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia as well as every corner of the U.S., providing a statewide economic benefit of $857 million – more than a $100 million a day! Covering more than 3 million square feet of space, visitors have access to a stunning array of an estimated $4 billion worth of products ranging from the largest superyachts, sport fishing boats, and center consoles, to kayaks, jet skis, marine products, accessories, and services.
Known as “FLIBS” in the marine industry, the event puts an exclamation point on year-round manufacturing, brokerage, sales and service activity in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County and South Florida, which is also “The International Marine Hub.”
On the surface FLIBS may appear as simply the premiere consumer show it is. However, behind the scenes it also serves as a vital business-to-business platform. The importance of the show attracts the principals and decision-makers from the global marine marketplace, presenting unique opportunities for face-to-face meetings and the execution of deals and partnerships. Many trade associations and organizations with national and international reach choose FLIBS to hold their annual meetings.
The Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which owns the show, is the largest marine trade organization in the Southeast U.S. and reports that activity relating to the boat and yacht industry supports 110,000 middle class jobs in Broward County and 136,000 jobs regionally. MIASF’s partner, Informa Exhibitions, manages and produces the show.
In addition to boats, exhibits include an exotic auto display, the latest innovations in equipment, personal submarines and a huge selection of the latest yacht and water toys. Themed areas include the Performance Village, the Sportfish Village, CruiserPort, the Superyacht Experience, the Yachting Pavilion, the Yacht Builders Pavilion and a Kid Zone, located in the Convention Center, featuring kids fishing clinics presented by Hook The Future. For those not looking for something new, the show offers pre-owned boats and brokerage vessels and other attractions including world-famous floating cocktail barges, live musical entertainment and exciting fishing and boating seminars for adults and children.
The show encompasses seven locations connected by a convenient land and water transportation network. Boat show headquarters are at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center, with additional exhibits at the Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Pier 66 Marina, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale-Broward County Convention Center.
For additional information on hours of operation, ticket sales, transportation and parking options, visit www.FLIBS.com.