Captain's Chair - The Show Goes On!
In its 61-year history, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has never been cancelled, despite various threats from events like hurricanes and economic downturns, thanks to the continued support of the local community. Over the past few months, MIASF and Informa have worked closely together with their lobbying teams to relentlessly advocate for support from city of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County elected and non-elected officials to allow the 2020 show to go on. At a County Commission meeting held on September 10th, county commissioners heard from as many as 20 local business and civic leaders, as well as the city of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, Commissioner Ben Sorensen, and manager Chris Lagerbloom. Each speaker encouraged the County Commission to provide clear direction to the County Administrator, who has unprecedented authority during times of declared emergency, to provide the needed approval for FLIBS to move forward, and thankfully they did so.
You’ve heard me say many times that we don’t know how long we will be living with COVID-19 in our midst so we must find ways in which we can safely and securely conduct business and get people back to work to save individual livelihoods and the overall economy. We have learned over the past six months that enhanced hygiene in the form of hand washing, wearing a face covering, and maintaining social distancing are the keys to stopping the spread of the virus and safeguarding the population. #It’sNotTooMuchToMask!
As a leading global exhibition company producing 500 shows around the world, Informa has access to the latest information on how to ensure the health and safety of FLIBS participants and its leaders will be implementing its comprehensive AllSecure health and safety standards designed to prioritize the safety of all attendees, exhibitors, crew members, and staff. Together, MIASF and Informa have produced a series of informational videos that explain what attendees and exhibitors can expect at this year’s show. Many of the details are included throughout this issue of the MIASF Newsletter and the videos are available on social media.
We are grateful to the many exhibitors and attendees of the show who are enthusiastic and supportive of the decision to produce FLIBS, creating an opportunity for the marine industry to demonstrate its resiliency and lead by example in showing Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and the state of Florida that it can operate an event safely, securely, and in compliance with new guidelines and protocols.
Of course, there will be some adjustments to be made that will require everyone to remain flexible as we navigate this new environment, but we know that by working together, finding practical solutions, and thoughtfully communicating throughout the process, we will deny the “cancel culture” its stronghold and we will create a defining moment that helps turn the tide toward safely getting back to business.
Thank you for your continued support, and if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to us.