The International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference was launched in 1992 by the magazine ‘Professional Boatbuilder’ and most commonly goes by the shorthand name ‘IBEX’. This event is targeted at professionals involved in the boatbuilding industry and is therefore not open to the general public. However, unlike other trade shows, IBEX offers exclusive opportunities to see and sample the latest technology in boatbuilding and operation. It is therefore perfect for anyone from propeller manufacturers through to the marine press. All in all, one for the pros.
The show takes place from Tuesday, September 28th to Thursday, September 30th at the Kentucky Exposition Center. There are 12 seminar tracks, with 2 shows per track per day totalling an impressive 60 sessions over the three days. There are also lots of demos and workshops going on and enough opportunities to network to keep even the chattiest boat builder happy.
Here are a few of the exhibition’s highlights:
- SHRINK OFF – this is the first year for this particular event, hosted by the eponymous Dr. Shrink, and will see competitors race to shrink wrap a vessel. Points are awarded for neatness and speed and the daily winners will receive a tailored blue cape and a Shrinkfast 998 Heat Tool Kit!
- One-on-one workshops – operating on a first come, first serve basis, these personalised sessions will allow a company to consult directly with experts on any marine-related issues they require.
- Opening night party – Tuesday evening will see the annual kick-off party, ‘Welcome To Louisville!’. All exhibition attendees are welcome and there will be food, drinks and music to enjoy.
- Industry Awards – this is a breakfast event this year and takes place first thing on Tuesday morning. The awards are for innovation and will have been judged by Boating Writers International. The key-note speaker for this event is Tori Murden McClure, who was famously the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Her speech is entitled, “Dare Mighty Things”.
Sounds like these professionals know how to have fun!