Miss the other boat shows?

Here’s your last shot

By Martin Lenkowsky

The Palm Beach International Boat Show 2018 has gotten bigger—literally—says Andrew Doole, vice president and general manager of Informa, which produces and manages the show. “We expanded the water portion of the show on the south side,” he says.

Informa, a British company, purchased Show Management, the show’s former producer, last year. Doole says the company has invested more than $8 million worth in boat show equipment. “We’ll keep it growing with better equipment,” he says.

The show, now in its 33rd year, will be held March 22-25 in downtown West Palm Beach along Flagler Drive near Clematis Street. It’s the last boat show of the season in South Florida.

This one, considered among the top five nationally, will include more than $1.2 billion worth of boats, yachts and boating accessories from the world’s leading marine manufacturers, making it a truly international show. Boats will range from 8-foot inflatables to 150-feet-plus super yachts. In between, there are power boats, center consoles, bow riders and personal watercraft.

The show will include used yachts, tents full of the latest electronics and accessories, seminars and fishing clinics for children. There also will be exotic cars, live music and family fun.

It also boasts international flavor. “We continue to attract more foreign shipyards from Europe,” Doole says. “We’re proud and happy European yacht manufacturers are taking notice of the Palm Beach County market.” He says the show grows yearly, with an increasing number of 50- to 150-foot vessels featured either through dealers or directly.

Organizers say the Palm Beach location makes it one of the most visitor-friendly shows to date. “It’s a perfect family destination where people can enjoy lunch and dinner at many area restaurants. You can leave for lunch with your wristband and return to the show,” Doole says. “There’s easy parking downtown, especially on weekends.”

Informa has invested in other improvements, says Mary Bender, its marketing director, including new electrical wiring for safety and efficiency. It also has invested in new docks. “They’re a lot sleeker and cleaner. The old ones were wood, which warped,” she says. “The new docks should make for a better experience for the attendees.”

This year’s VIP Experience, a higher-priced ticket, also will be different; it previously was geared toward people in the marine industry. It will include an open bar, lunch and music. “And we’re working on a happy hour with tapas, a perfect ambience,” Bender says.

Bender says Informa also is working with local parking garages to include approximately 1,000 parking spaces for attendees. Show organizers are hoping for at least 50,000 attendees. No data is available for the expected local economic impact, but Bender says a study will be done for this year’s show. ♦

At a Glance

• When: March 22-25. Thursday, noon-7 p.m.; Friday and

  Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

• Where: Downtown West Palm Beach, Flagler Drive near Clematis Street.

• Cost: Adults, $24; children 6-15, $14; under 6, free.

  VIP Experience tickets are $125 daily, or $200 for two-day passes.

• Tickets and info: pbboatshow.com

You May Also Like

South Florida Marketing Expert Pens Forthcoming Book Exploring the Benefits of Business Networking

The Power of Networking aims to teach readers how to network like a pro.

Letter from the Editor: Our Elite Cover Stars Are in Dialogue With Each Other

We asked Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Raymond Fort about their work with Newgard Development Group’s CEO Harvey Hernandez—and the very well-known principals of the Related Group: Jorge Perez and his sons, JP and Nick.

Gucci Opens Newly Relocated Boutique in Palm Beach

Gucci has been a staple in Palm Beach and the new location adds to the Italian brand’s legacy in the U.S.

Palm Beach to The Real Housewives of Miami: Not Today

The show was planning to shoot on Worth Avenue, but the city shut that pipe dream down.

Other Posts

What Made This Seabourn Cruise So Spectacular, the Aegean Locales or the Ovation? Yes

It hardly needs to be said that South Florida is the cruise capital of the world. PortMiami is the busiest passenger ship terminal in existence, the home port for 12 cruise lines and a port of call for 11 more. Part of the draw of sunbathing in South Pointe Park or sipping a sundowner at

Coke Florida Earns Recognition as a Top-Performing U.S. Company

Coke Florida has been recognized as a U.S. Best Managed Company for two consecutive years and was the first and only Coca-Cola bottler to receive this prestigious title in 2022.

Scenic Group USA Reveals Key Executive Appointments

The company is increasingly focused on brand awareness and expanding distribution channels.

Migration to Florida Continues Unabated

Which South Florida city saw the most inbound moves? We keep hearing about Austin’s popularity, but apparently, Austin has nothing on Miami—and Texas is chasing Florida. We have the receipts.

Florida Migration Chart