Warm Mediterranean sunshine mirrored and further enhanced the mood and positive energy that dominated this year’s ICOMIA/IFBSO Annual Congress which took place recently in beautiful Sanremo, Italy. Hosted by Confindustria Nautica, congress consisted of a number of presentations and workshops as well as experience-sharing opportunities between both organisations who also held their respective AGMs.
IFBSO’s focus was the continuation of their work on “Vision 2035” which explores potential event formats of the future. Ben Taylor of Taylor Media explained the benefit of harnessing social media in generating interest and engagement from previous and new visitors to boat shows and advised his followers on “What’s going on” at IFBSO by producing interviews with boat show organisers. Luca Rizzotti, Founder of the Foiling Association, presented the foiling organisation scope followed by a discussion on certifications, efficiency and sustainability at boat shows and the marine leisure industry in general.
The joint speed networking event between ICOMIA and IFBSO delegates saw some 40 participants meet in groups of 4 over 6 sessions in intense discussions over a period of about 90 minutes. A firm fixture during the last few years, this session still proves very popular.
Andrea Razeto, VP Confindustria Nautica, welcomed ICOMIA and IFBSO delegates to the “Italian Morning” and Stefano Pagani Isnardi, Head of Research Confindustria Nautica, provided facts and figures of the Italian boating industry and introduced a number of interesting speakers and topics.
IFBSO is growing and IFBSO President, Anne Dunbar, and Secretary General, Goetz-Ulf Jungmichel, proudly welcomed several new boat show members to the AGM. The election of the officers and members serving on the IFBSO Executive Committee for the period 2023 – 2024 resulted in a few changes. Niels Klarenbeek (METSTRADE) took over as Vice President from Jacob Ryder who asked to vacate his post due to conflicting commitments. Similarly, IFBSO’s long serving Treasurer, Hanse Thorslund, decided to stand down and has been succeeded by Heiko Zimmermann (HAMBURG ancora YACHTFESTIVAL). Felix Klarmann (INTERBOOT) and Daniel Barkowski (BOOT & FUN) were welcomed as new committee members.
The IFBSO Executive Committee is looking forward to expanding the scope and membership of the organisation further and embracing future challenges. It has set itself an ambitious programme leading up to IFBSO’s 60th anniversary at next year’s congress which will take place in La Rochelle, France. This is particularly fitting as it was at a meeting of boat show organisers in Paris in January 1964 that the formation of the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers was agreed upon which was constituted during a follow-up meeting in October 1964. IFBSO is planning a major recruitment drive as well as several special events leading up to and during congress in 2024 to mark this special milestone.
This year’s event in Sanremo finished with a gala dinner in the fabulous grounds of the Royal Hotel. A specially baked cake featuring the ICOMIA and IFBSO logos was ceremonially cut by the Presidents of both organisations and the evening ended with the more energetic delegates dancing the night away to live music hugged by balmy air under a starlit sky.
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