IFBSO, the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers, enjoyed a very lively and successful congress which culminated in a splendid gala dinner on the last evening in Duino Castle overlooking the Gulf of Trieste. Held annually in conjunction with ICOMIA, the Congress which took place in Trieste in Italy from 8th – 10th June 2016, formed part of ICOMIA’s 50th anniversary celebrations with the gala dinner, complete with fireworks, being the final highlight.
During congress IFBSO welcomed SIBEX – China (Shenzhen) international Boat Show – as its newest member. In addition to the presentations during the Italian National Morning and boatyard visits to Alto Adriatico Custom and Italia Yachts, the delegates were treated to a very lively presentation by The Yacht Week whose energetic founder member, Erik Biörklund, explained how the idea of providing sailing experiences for Millennials whilst networking with like-minded others in a perpetual party atmosphere has turned into a unique business which – seemingly - provides the owners with as much fun as the customers.
Goetz-Ulf Jungmichel (IFBSO President) and Dirk Kreidenweiss (ExCom member) reported on “Start Boating” – a new German national boating campaign and co-operation between selected boat shows, publishing companies and industry, jointly funded by the partners, to offer free sailing experiences across Germany.
IFBSO also gained a good insight from Francesca Clapcich, Italian sailor and crew in the 49er FX class on what it means to compete in the Olympics and the pains and gains involved in becoming a medal winning sports person.
IFBSO has recruited one new and re-appointed existing members to its Executive Committee and following the AGM on 9th June, the Executive Committee is now made up as follows:
- Goetz Jungmichel (Consultant to boat show team at Düsseldorf Trade Fairs) – President
- Irene Dros (METS-Amsterdam RAI) – Vice President
- Bengt Wallin (Gothenburg Boat Show) – Treasurer
- Adrian Danson (London & Southampton International Boat Show) – Member
- Jerry Flaxman (Atlantic City In Water Power Boat Show) - Member
- Helena Gao (China Shanghai Intl Boat Show) - Member
- Dirk Kreidenweiss, (Interboot Friedrichshafen) - Member
- Roy Privett (BIA – Sydney International Boat Show) - Member
- Hanse Thorslund (Stockholm International Boat Show) – Member
- Rens-Jan van Vliet, (METS-Amsterdam RAI) - Member
Over the last few years, IFBSO and ICOMIA have grown closer together and worked jointly on delivering relevant congress contents as well as developing good relationships with the congress hosts in order to deliver a professionally organised event. During last week’s congress this co-operation advanced one step further by IFBSO and ICOMIA setting up a joint taskforce which will meet properly for the first time during METS in Amsterdam later this year to discuss issues that are of major concern to the respective membership of both organisations.
In the meantime, according to Renate Maddocks-Born, IFBSO’s Secretary General, the major focus for the coming months will be to provide information which may facilitate change as regards the profile of boat shows in order to secure greater participation levels in the marine leisure industry for the future.
The networking aspect of the annual congress is of major value to our members and, accordingly, they are looking forward already to the next one which will be held from 24 – 27 May 2017 on Australia’s Gold Coast.