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Fort Lauderdale Leads Top Three Global Boat Shows

Brands in search of the ideal platform to make a splash with boating enthusiasts and consumers of luxury lifestyle goods and services now have the opportunity to engage in highly marketable sponsorships of the world’s most important annual boat shows: the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami Yacht Show and Palm Beach International Boat Show. Title and presenting sponsorships also are available for regional shows and the largest boat show on Florida’s Gulf Coast: the St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show as well as the Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota.

“Our five boat shows offer enormous platforms for sponsors to create affinity for their brands and build loyalty around experiences,” says Andrew Doole, president of Informa U.S. Boat Shows. “We believe the value proposition and return on investment for a title or presenting sponsor of these events is extraordinary when compared to other types of marketing.”

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, owned by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and produced by Informa, attracts more than 110,000 attendees annually to what is widely acknowledged as the industry’s “must-attend” event. From October 30 through November 3, 2019, buyers, sellers and media from around the world will once again gather by day to see what is new, do business and enjoy the show, returning to the docks after dark for dazzling parties hosted by exhibitors and featuring spirits, fashion and luxury products from the world’s most exclusive brands.

Celebrating its 60th year and known as the world’s largest in-water boat show, the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show launches the much-anticipated “Superyacht Village” and spans seven locations connected by a network of water taxis and shuttles. The greatest show on the seven seas features 1,500 boats ranging from personal watercrafts to 300-foot superyachts and offers goods and services from 1,200 exhibitors from 32 countries.

Likewise, the annual Miami Yacht Show, held in February and co-owned by the International Yacht Brokers Association and Informa, and the Palm Beach International Boat Show, recognized as the third largest boat show in the U.S. and held each year in March – co-owned by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and Informa, are pre-eminent shows. Each boasts its own distinct identity and draws global enthusiasts from across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Various metrics reveal the exceptional marketing power these shows present for sponsors. Each year, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show generates a statewide economic impact exceeding $857 million, according to studies conducted by Thomas Murray Associates, which is greater than the statewide economic boost of a Super Bowl. The ripple effect of 110,000 people attending the show includes more than 170,000 hotel rooms booked, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, more than 1,000 private planes landing at local airport FBOs, restaurants and car rental companies exceeding capacity and booming business for the entire region.

The Palm Beach International Boat Show, situated on the scenic West Palm Beach waterfront overlooking the posh Town of Palm Beach, has a unique appeal to affluent boaters who flock there during the prime winter and spring season. More than 50,000 people attended the 2018 event, generating an estimated $277 million in sales at the show and a statewide economic impact of $682 million.

Each of the shows attracts its share of attendees with annual incomes exceeding $1 million as well as a broader demographic of those earning at least $250,000. At the Fort Lauderdale show, 40 percent of attendees are C-suite executives and business owners, 65 percent own two or more homes, and 10 percent have a net worth exceeding $20 million.

An elite sub-set of ultra-high-net-worth individuals accounts for purchases in the superyacht category of vessels that may cost as much as $200 million. Exclusive VIP lounges at the Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach shows are among the various luxury experiences where like-minded individuals can enjoy exclusive brand activations.

Worldwide news coverage of the 2018 Fort Lauderdale show underscores the global lure of these boat shows to international businesses and consumers. Media coverage of the 2018 show ran in 46 nations, with more than 500 members of the media from 20 countries traveling to Fort Lauderdale to cover the event. Total earned media included more than 2,000 news stories in 250 outlets, valued at $15 million. Media coverage of the 2019 Miami Yacht Show, which reaches key markets throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe, was valued at $5.8 million.


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