Too close or not too close? How do you handle the additional distractions of an approaching hurricane on your year-long, hard-planned trade event?

Our client, the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference, faced the tough decision of whether or not to shut their show down early in Tampa this past October as Hurricane Matthew turned our media into a 24-hour hurricane watch and hundreds of thousands of Florida and East Coast residents evacuated their homes for safer shores. While Tampa was secure from the spiraling threat of the hurricane, a boating show such as IBEX was packed with both exhibitors and attendees who needed to get back to boarding their homes and evacuating their businesses and families.

The answer to such a dilemma was holding twice-a-day operational/weather briefings, keeping both attendees and exhibitors aware of the current hurricane status, and finally closing one-half day early to enable exhibitors to get a jump start packing their booths and heading out.

Despite the weather interruption, IBEX 2016 was a great show, packed with industry news and expanded sights, proving that IBEX continues to be the industry’s resource for recreational marine professionals.


Big expansions were made to IBEX 2016 to accommodate more exhibitors and more on-the-water displays. An entire new exhibit level was added to the IBEX Tampa location, and initial fears from exhibitors on this level that they would be unseen were quickly put to rest as CSG’s marketing strategies and an operational cleverness drove attendees in packs through the first level exhibit hall.

In the 2014 move to the Tampa Convention Center, dock slips became an option to exhibitors wanting to display their products in action on the water, and they were so popular that IBEX increased the number of the dock slips available. This year, the IBEX docks were filled with more than 35 dock displays, and attendees loved the opportunity to test drive products while navigating the channel.

The big announcement IBEX made to the industry this year was their new co-ownership with RAI Amsterdam and the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association), which puts the IBEX show in partnership with METSTRADE, a well-known, leisure marine show in Europe that serves a larger international marine audience. With only a few weeks’ notice, CSG helped IBEX assemble marketing assets and an announcement video which were released during their standing-room-only opening Industry Breakfast event. View the video below. CSG is proud of it!

CSG congratulates the IBEX team on their hard work leading up to and during another great event for their industry!