The new IBEX Online: A Virtual Experience, launched by IBEX LLC, held September 29 – October 2, 2020 ended the week with positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike. For the first-ever IBEX Online, nearly 3,000 visitors registered from 25 countries to take part, and more than 1,650 exhibitor representatives participated from 474 companies representing 10 countries. There were more than 4,000 connections made and 700 meetings conducted. In addition, IBEX Online showcased 1,077 products, which included New Products for 2020, as well as the prestigious 2020 Innovation Award entrants and the Award-Winning products.
The IBEX Online sessions saw very high participation, with 135 full conference attendees taking in more than 50 educational and keynote sessions produced by exhibiting companies and the Show’s education partners; Professional BoatBuilder magazine, ABBRA, ABYC, AMI, NMEA, RIMTA, and IBEX co-owner NMMA. The Opening Session and Awards Presentation, sponsored by Interlux Yacht Finishes, AWLGRIP North America and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, had 640 viewers.
Comments during the Opening Session and Awards Presentation included:
"I am very excited to attend my first IBEX!" – Rebecca Gallery
“That’s a great virtual awards show! I feel like I know Kris now but have not met her.” – Allan Johnson
“Greetings from the Mabru Power Systems team. This is our first-time attending IBEX and our first virtual show! Good luck everyone.” – Nicolas Mabru
“Have a great virtual show everyone. Looking forward to my first IBEX experience.” – Rita Mitch
The Show could not have taken place without the support of the exhibitors, visitors, industry associations and media partners; Boating Industry, Composites World, IBI, Marina World, Professional BoatBuilder magazine, and Soundings Trade Only.
“I can appreciate the immense effort that has gone into converting the massive IBEX show into a digital format in such a short period of time. It’s terrific to be able to meet with old friends and business associates as well as meet new potential business partners from the safety of our own home or office. The danger of COVID is very real and IBEX would not be possible without just such a digital platform. The training seminars are always terrific and it's nice to be able to ask questions afterwards.” – Daniel Cortez, Bayside Marine and Shallow Stalker Boat.
“I wanted to tell you that this is by far the best virtual show experience I have seen this year, and you guys did a great job during very difficult circumstances. Again, great job to your team!" – Ricky Johnson, AO Coolers/AO Marine.
“I thought the event was excellent and am glad I was able to attend. I learned a lot and made some valuable contacts, despite some technology snafus on occasion. Well done! I hope to be able to attend next year, in person!” – Phil Minard, U.S. Commerce Service.
“Despite sitting behind a screen from the other side of the pond, it is remarkable to see there is a new kind of IBEX-vibe in the making. New means with the same aim of helping each other build better boats. Even virtually, it is great to see such enthusiasm for about the smallest items on deck, as we introduce new and better fasteners to hold down textiles. Thank you, team IBEX 2020!” – Bas Jan Veldhoen, Surefas, The Netherlands.
"Taking a large, powerful live event like IBEX and adjusting it in a short timeframe to a virtual event was a difficult transition for all of us, but with the industry’s support, it worked," said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “We tried something new and together we all learned how to navigate a sophisticated connection platform. Thank you to all of our partners, exhibitors and visitors for joining us. Of course, we can’t fully recreate the unexpected connections, fortuitous business opportunities, and spontaneous inspirations, that can only happen when walking down the aisles of IBEX, which is why we look forward to seeing everyone in person at IBEX 2021.”