IFBSO/ICOMIA 2017 Congress

After three full days of meetings, seminars, workshops and events, members of IFBSO (International Federation of Boat Show Organisers) who travelled to Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast to attend the annual ICOMIA/IFBSO congress have judged it to have been a complete success.

Leaders of marine industry associations and owners and managers of the leading boat shows from around world converged on the Gold Coast for International Boating Week which featured some of South East Queensland’s leading marine events and boat shows, culminating in the 2017 ICOMIA & IFBSO Congress from 24 - 27 May at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort.

The annual event is the highlight of the IFBSO calendar and provides a much valued opportunity for experience sharing, the discussion of topical issues concerning the recreational boating industry, networking with colleagues as well as learning about the host country’s boating industry and infrastructure.

This year’s hosts, the BIA (Boating Industry Association of Australia) together with its partner organisations, pulled out all the stops to put in place an interesting and entertaining framework programme and the Sheraton Grand Mirage as congress venue proved to be a comfortable base with superb conference facilities.

The IFBSO “speed dating” workshop at the beginning at congress was an opportunity for delegates to meet each other on a one-to-one basis which is particularly helpful for first-time delegates and to judge by the lively atmosphere in the room, it was well received.

The Secretary Generals of both IFBSO and ICOMIA , Renate Maddocks-Born and Udo Kleinitz, presented the terms of reference of a newly formed Joint Working Group comprising of a small number of members from both organisations to the entire congress audience and it was decided that this new task force will replace the ICOMIA Boat Show Committee with immediate effect. This Joint Working Group is just one example of the increasingly close relationship and collaboration between the two organisations.

A presentation by keynote speaker Roy Wakelin-King, AM, Executive Director Regional and Freight Division – NSW Roads & Maritime Services on “The Shared Economy and the Impact of Disruption” was a major highlight as was the Australian Marine Industry Showcase Lunch.

An IFBSO workshop on social media stimulated an interesting discussion and a presentation by Roselle Tenefrancia and Andy Kanchachian of Boat Gold Coast Magazine concluded the formal programme for delegates on the last day of congress.  

The industry tours organised by BIA provided a choice between the Telwater Factory or Sanctuary Cove Boat Show visit and most IFBSO opted for the latter to see for themselves the unique setting of the show in this integrated resort community and marine village.

Following a change in the constitution which allows the IFBSO president to be chosen from amongst the federation’s directors, the officers and members serving on the Executive Committee for the period 2017-2018, elected during the AGM on 26th May 2017, are as follows:

  • Goetz Jungmichel (DSV) – President
  • Irene Dros (METS-Amsterdam RAI) – Vice President
  • Bengt Wallin (Gothenburg Boat Show) – Treasurer
  • Murray Ellis (London & Southampton International Boat Show) – Member
  • Jerry Flaxman (Atlantic City In Water Power Boat Show) - Member
  • Helena Gao (China Shanghai Intl Boat Show) – Member
  • Domenic Genua (BIA – Sydney International Boat Show) - Member
  • Dirk Kreidenweiss, (Interboot Friedrichshafen) – Member
  • Jennifer Thompson (Miami Intl Boat Show) - Member
  • Hanse Thorslund (Stockholm International Boat Show) – Member
  • Rens-Jan van Vliet, (METS-Amsterdam RAI) - Member

Evening events during congress had a uniquely Australian flavour starting with a pool party, an evening spent at McLarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island overlooking its own private beach and surrounded by a beautiful bushland setting complete with native wildlife, culminating in the gala dinner on the last evening in the Mirage Grand Ballroom.

Preparations for the next annual congress which will take place from 5th – 8th June in Berlin (Germany) are already well underway and the IFBSO Executive Committee finished the final meeting at the end of congress with a long list of seminar topics for next year which were inspired by this year’s success.

Posted on Jun 12, 2017

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