Post-Irma, Tampa Bay makes a splash with IBEX 2017
September 21, 2017 by PR@VisitTampaBay.com
Marine manufacturers host strongest opening day ever on Tampa Bay waterfront
TAMPA, FL (September 21, 2017) – A week after Hurricane Irma passed over Florida, Visit Tampa Bay showed it was open for business with a big splash – by hosting more than 8,000 attendees for IBEX (International Boatbuilders Exhibition & Conference) at downtown’s waterfront Convention District.
Conference sessions took place in the 600,000-square-foot Tampa Convention Center, which was undamaged by Irma and offered immediate access to a waterfront filled with boats and marine equipment on display. The conference brought 8,000 room nights and an estimated $4.5 million in economic impact to Tampa Bay.
“We are proud to host IBEX and thrilled that this year’s show reported its highest first-day attendance in its history,” said Santiago Corrada, President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “Tampa Bay is unique in its ability to offer in-water display of marine technology directly adjacent to our beautiful waterfront convention center. It’s easy to see that IBEX and Tampa Bay make a great team.”
“Our home is the Tampa Convention Center,” said IBEX show director Anne Dunbar. “A week ago, I thought I was going to have to cancel my show, but I’m happy to report that Tampa Bay is fine and up and running for business.”
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn offered this message to IBEX organizers: “Thanks for believing in us. It’s been a great relationship, and we look forward to years of building on that relationship.”
The Tampa Riverwalk and downtown waterfront have gained national and international recognition in recent years. Linking hotels, museums, restaurants, and parks like gems on a string, the Tampa Riverwalk and downtown waterfront were the location this past January of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game’s sprawling Yacht Village and hosted tens of thousands of football fans for the big game.
IBEX visited Tampa Bay in 2014 and 2016 and is scheduled to return to Tampa Bay in 2018.
About Visit Tampa Bay
The hip, urban heart of Florida’s Gulf coast beats in Tampa Bay. Visit Tampa Bay encourages adventurous travelers to unlock sun, fun and culture in Florida’s most diverse travel destination. We are a not-for-profit corporation that works with 800 partners to tell the world the story of Tampa Bay. Treasure awaits.
IBEX is the largest technical marine event in North America, and the three most valuable days of the year for all marine professionals. No other event gives as much access to the people and technology shaping the industry.