For the first time in its 35-year history, The Palm Beach International Boat Show is moving off the docks and on to digital screens. The Virtual Palm Beach International Boat Show will launch on Thursday, May 14, featuring more than 400 exhibitors and will be free to view. Staying true to its prestigious traditions, the event will celebrate and showcase the most exciting new boats and yachts, hobby crafts, and the latest in cutting-edge marine gear and technology.
To accommodate COVID-19 restrictions and public safety concerns, the event’s organizers made the decision to take the show off the docks of Downtown West Palm Beach and move it into the digital sphere. Viewers will still be able to “shop” for the best in marine gear and tour hundreds of new and used boats, all while connecting directly with brokers and manufacturers. The exhibitors will be organized by category (ie. yachts, trawlers, cruisers, etc.) in a virtual shopping guide for ease of use.
“The Palm Beach International Boat Show has an extremely engaged following with a large audience of passionate marine enthusiasts. In the show’s 35-year history, we have never dealt with a situation like the current health pandemic. While the show will no longer take place in its original form, we wanted to provide our loyal audience the opportunity to still experience the boat show, albeit virtually,” said George Gentile, President of the Marina Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc.
The show will also feature a library of video content, including hundreds of video walk-throughs highlighting new products and web seminars led by industry experts, like Hook The Future and IGFA School of Sportfishing.
“All 436 exhibitors as well as vessels on display from the Palm Beach International BoatShow will have presence in our virtual show,” said Andrew Doole, President of Informa Markets U.S. Boat Shows. “Viewers will be able to directly engage with the exhibitors and ask questions through the virtual platform, while brokers and exhibitors will gain direct sales leads and engagement with consumers.”
The Palm Beach iteration is one of the top five boat shows in the country with a total statewide economic impact of $682.7 million. The Palm Beach International Boat Show is owned by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc. (MIAPBC) and produced by Informa Markets.