Miami Boat Show Enhancements Help Attract Large Crowds

The 78th Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show, presented by West Marine and held February 14 to 18, attracted 91,518 attendees.

In 2019, several enhancements and additions were made to attract crowds and improve the attendee and exhibitor experience, including more streamlined transportation options. Complimentary water taxi rides were up 18 percent over 2018, totaling nearly 60,000 rides to and from the show; and average wait times for water taxis significantly decreased, 45 minutes in 2019 versus two hours in 2018. Bus ridership was also up, totaling 91,496 rides round trip, up 24 percent compared to last year.

Aiding in the improved transportation experience was the boat show’s partnership with RaftUp Technologies, which included the new ‘Miami Connections’ app and onsite transportation screens that provided arrival and departure updates for water taxis. More than 5,000 attendees downloaded the app in the first year, with an average of 2,000 daily active users during show days.

Additional show enhancements included more food options, more restrooms and ticketing improvements that included separate entryways for exhibitors and attendees and new electronic Will Call.

Show highlights for 2019 included the new Costa Conservation Village as part of several site-wide initiatives introduced to enhance and encourage conservation. The Miami Boat Show also partnered with Costa’s Kick Plastic program to continue to reduce the use of plastic onsite. As part of the effort, filtered watered stations were offered at key points around the show, and Costa reusable water containers were offered for sale at the show.

Additional show highlights included the BoatU.S. On-Water Training Program, which hosted 103 students and 40 courses in its inaugural year; Sailor’s Cove, featuring a wider array of seminars and on-water sailing lessons; and the VIP Experience, presented by Porsche.