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Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2023 Sails to Success

KATHY MONTE, NEWS EDITOR
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2023 Sails to Success

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — This year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), held Oct. 25-29, sailed over five days at seven locations. With an estimated economic impact of $1.8 billion and 100,000 visitors, 1,100 exhibiting brands, and 1,300 boats on display, the show was a resounding success, Andrew Doole, President of the U.S. Boat Shows division of Informa Markets, said.

Owned by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and produced by Informa Markets, FLIBS took place across seven locations, including the Bahia Mar Yachting Center and the Broward County Convention Center (BCCC).

“With a legacy spanning over six decades and bringing over $1.79 billion into the state’s annual economy, FLIBS continues to set new standards for excellence, becoming an unrivaled platform for marine enthusiasts, industry professionals and luxury aficionados,” said Doole.

All five of Informa’s boat shows — FLIBS, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, the St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show, the Miami Yacht Show, and the Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota — have been successful, Doole said.

Exhibitors were thrilled by this year’s FLIBS. Take Sportsman Boats, which reports it surpassed its record of boats sold in 2022. Brunswick Corporation also reports another record-breaking performance at this year’s FLIBS with exceptionally strong sales and share gains for many of its brands.

The future is bright for FLIBS as construction continues on the mega-yacht Las Olas Marina, with a spring 2024 opening predicted. In addition, the 325-room reimagined Pier Sixty-Six Resort is set to open in late 2024. The property also will have a new Marina Promenade with more than 33,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space. These new components complement Pier Sixty-Six Marina, a yachting destination, with 164 slips and 5,000 linear feet of dockage and deep-water slips for yachts up to 400 feet in length. These new developments will enhance the already impressive FLIBS.

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Making less of an impact on the environment is a focus of FLIBS.

“We’ve been growing our sustainability initiatives year over year to reduce waste and lower carbon footprint in our shows,” Cristiane Fernandes, Director of Operations, U.S. Boat Shows, South Florida Ventures, said.

Initiatives include:

  • Renewable Electricity: For more than ten years, Informa Markets has invested over $2.8 million to eliminate diesel generators and enhance energy efficiency through cutting-edge technologies. Its transition to 100% renewable electricity ensures that the event’s carbon impact is mitigated, offering a more sustainable experience for attendees and participants alike.
  • Recycled Decking: Informa has upgraded lumber decking with recycled decking on over six miles of floating docks, representing 4,632 tons of materials diverted from landfills.
  • Recycling Bins: More than 100 recycling bins were added to FLIBS this year, and the circular economy was implemented. The plastic bottles and cups collected were recycled into sustainable raw materials and then turned back into sustainable apparel.
  • Lanyards: They are part of the circular economy for the show. They were produced from recycled plastic from previous shows and collected to be recycled again.
  • Water: Refilling stations were readily available to increase attendee hydration while reducing waste.
  • Single-Use Plastic Reduction: In line with Informa’s dedication to minimizing plastic waste, it has initiated collaborative efforts with vendors and exhibitors to adopt a limited plastic policy. Beverages were sold in aluminum bottles/cans.
  • Signage: Digital signage was featured at the convention center. Cardboard signage instead of foam board was used. FLIBS reuses most of the signage that is produced, and what can’t be reused is recycled.
  • Beach Cleanup: Two days of clean up on Fort Lauderdale Beach were arranged with Rock The Ocean and Suzuki.
  • Accolades: FLIBS had its first-ever Innovation and Sustainability award in partnership with Marine Research Hub. The winner was the Sunreef 80 Power ECO, an 80-foot catamaran covered in solar panels.

All of these initiatives are part of Informa’s “Faster Forward” program with the ambition to become a zero-waste and net-zero carbon entity by 2030, aligning with global environmental objectives.

Reach Andrew Doole at Andrew.Doole@informa.com

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