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Despite Hurricane Matthew, IBEX Breaks Attendance Records as Co-Ownership with RAI Announced


Tampa, Fla.—RAI Amsterdam, owners and producers of METSTRADE (The Marine Equipment Trade Show) announced this week that they have purchased a 50% stake in IBEX from WoodenBoat Publications Inc., for an undisclosed price. Now, RAI Amsterdam will partner with the National Marine Manufacturers Association to produce future IBEX events.

IBEX is the marine industry’s largest trade event in North America. The three-day event, which took place between October 4-6 in Tampa, Fla., was deemed a success for exhibitors and attendees alike despite the threat of Hurricane Matthew. However, the show did close at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday in preparation for the hurricane which hit Florida’s coast on Friday, Oct. 7.

But even with the storm, IBEX, the marine industry’s largest technical trade event in North America, drew marine industry professionals from around the globe to learn about and explore the newest in marine innovation from 556 exhibiting companies, covering 118,000 square feet of exhibit space.

“A record breaking 750 marine professionals kicked off the event at the Industry Breakfast and heard first-hand the exciting news about the new partnership between METSTRADE and IBEX,” said Anne Dunbar, Show Director of IBEX. The two floors of the trade show were buzzing throughout the first two days with hundreds of new products and technologies being introduced. There was definitely a sense of excitement and enthusiasm.”

While IBEX and the METSTRADE Show will continue to maintain their unique focus and identity, IBEX will be powered by METSTRADE to foster international growth in attendees, exhibits and sponsorships.

METSTRADE is one of the seven international B2B exhibition brands in the RAI portfolio. “This is a major acquisition for RAI Amsterdam”, said Ids Boersma, Executive Vice President of RAI Amsterdam. “The international watersport domain is a crucial and strategic one for the RAI. IBEX is the number one B2B watersport event in North America, while METSTRADE holds the same position in Europe, Asia and Australia. This new takeover will further enhance the RAI’s role as a global player in a sector in which Holland leads the way.”

Reach Ann Dunbar at (866) 963-9655 or

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