Last September RAI Amsterdam purchased 50% stake in IBEX as co-owners of the event with the NMMA. Anne Dubar – IBEX Show Director and Irene Dros, Manager Maritime METSTRADE share their ideas and tell more about the cooperation.
Tell us why this new partnership is good for the marine industry?
Irene Dros: IBEX and METSTRADE will be more collaborative to ensure all of the latest worldwide industry developments, training and products are being brought to the professionals attending each event. As the new co-owners of IBEX, both the NMMA and RAI are looking forward to growing an international presence of marine manufacturers, distributors and international boat builders at IBEX while giving the global marine industry more access to the North American boat building industry, which represents an estimated 50% of global boat production. An international marine leisure community with a true global reach can be further developed with many synergy projects where all involved parties can benefit from.
Anne Dunbar: The IBEX and METSTRADE partnership will bring together more industry resources for recreational marine businesses and professionals globally. There's a lot of synergy around representing the entire marine industry as a global industry, as a brand we're stronger together. We're the two main events where the industry goes to see innovation and move the industry forward on the manufacturing level.
How are you going to maintain the unique focus of IBEX and METSTRADE?
Irene Dros: IBEX and METSTRADE will continue to maintain their unique focus, branding and identity as leading marine trade events. IBEX will continue to be the North American trade event supporting the industry, and METSTRADE will continue to be the global event serving the leisure marine industry.
Anne Dunbar: The cooperation of the METSTRADE brand supporting IBEX will foster international growth in exhibits and sponsorships from companies looking to reach the North American boatbuilding industry, as well as international boat builders and distributors sourcing U.S. products.
IBEX & METSTRADE exhibitors may feel the partnership threatens their business, how do you respond to that?
Irene Dros: The boating industry is very much a global market, and companies who are embracing the opportunity to grow and expand their businesses internationally are succeeding.
Anne Dunbar: Our partnership will bring more buyers from around the world to IBEX exhibitors, and we expect the same for METSTRADE from the North American marine industry. Together we can offer all of our exhibitors more buyers from around the world.
What will change for IBEX?
Irene Dros: While IBEX and METSTRADE will continue to maintain their unique focus and identity, the cooperation with METSTRADE show owner RAI Amsterdam will foster international growth in exhibits and sponsorships from companies looking to reach the North American part of the industry, while IBEX exhibitors will benefit from a more diverse group of buyers from a larger international audience.
Anne Dunbar: Current IBEX staff will not change but will be enhanced through the global agent sales network of RAI Amsterdam. IBEX will continue to produce a robust education program with current content partners and may be enhanced through new global partnerships.
IBEX is expected to be sold-out and considering the expected international engagement, what are your plans to accommodate future growth?
Irene Dros: We are committed to Tampa for 2017 and 2018 but we are currently exploring other locations that would accommodate a larger show and be suitable for IBEX’s attendees and exhibitors, both national and international.
Anne Dunbar: For IBEX 2017 we plan to maximize all potential exhibit space at the Tampa Convention Center including expanding booth space on the 1st Floor Exhibit Hall, the docks, and outdoor exhibit areas. We are doing our best to accommodate as many companies as we can, while looking to the future and considering new locations. We learned our lesson from Louisville - we know we can move the show successfully, but we also know that the show is most successful and the most supported in Florida.
How’s the partnership going so far? Irene Dros: Anne and her team are a joy to work with, the fact that we have been in this industry for many years, contributes to a high know-how factor and a solid base for a fantastic cooperation towards the future.
Anne Dunbar: The RAI team are an impressive group of people. They are smart, they are sharp, and they know how to run a show. As a partner, we couldn't ask for anyone better. For more information about IBEX www.ibexshow.com