ER Wagner was one of the 556 exhibiting companies at 2016 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference, the marine industry’s largest technical trade event in North America. Marine industry professionals from around the world converged on the Tampa Convention Center in Florida to explore and learn more about newest in marine innovation.
We had some great traction at our booth, where we showcased our line of superior Seaware marine hinges and hardware, but it wasn’t just about us.
Our reps got to meet a lot of great people and learn a lot about marine industry topics and trends. What did we find out?
Here are several of our takeaways from IBEX 2016.
- We met representatives from two companies that are moving manufacturing from Illinois and Washington to Florida because the sunshine state offers a more favorable business climate.
- Despite the looming hurricane, the show was well attended and ER Wagner made many new contacts from both new and existing customers, including Back Cove Yachts, Charleston Corporation, Nauticus, Qwest Pontoons, Wahine Yacts, Yamaha, G3, Tracker Marine, and Brunswick.
- ER Wagner was the only Marine Hinge manufacturer to attend IBEX. There were a couple of distributors, including our customer, Taco.
- During the three-day event, there were 57 education seminars which were exceedingly well attended. More than 500 marine professionals heard from nearly 100 industry speakers who shared their insights on the most pressing topics facing the industry. One of the seminars focused on EPA Boatbuilder Residual Risk Regulations, which was attended by a strong group of manufacturers.
- The marine industry is expecting 5% growth annually over the next 4 years. We also found out that a lot of people in Florida are building, and refurbishing boats via new factories and in their home shops. Of course, those projects aren’t included in the marine industry growth projections.