The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is going to look different this year. In fact, it’s going to look different before attendees even step inside.

“You’re walking south toward the property, and there will be more of a plaza now, a welcoming plaza,” says Danny Bulemore, senior associate at EDSA, which is helping show owner Informa change the old entrance to exhibitor-only and create a separate entryway for attendees. “We’re proposing a larger media or info board — one that comes to mind is the message board at Disney World, where it tells you how long the wait times are. It could tell you what’s going on at the show, different events happening at different times at the show, everything that’s happening inside.”

After that, he says, show-goers will find themselves immersed in a welcoming scene en route to the boats and exhibitors.

“We’ve also talked about bringing some of the kiosks out into the arrival area, beer and water, those types of things,” Bulemore says. “Nowadays, with Instagram and so much social media, we’re trying to make photo opportunities. Some of the character imagery we’re looking at are things inspired by major sporting events or concerts, like big letters that people can stand on and take a picture and use the hashtag FLIBS with the view of the marina behind them.”

Also new at this year’s show will be biodegradable plates and products, along with farm-to-plate food by Atlanta-based Proof of the Pudding. The idea, as with the new entry, is to enhance the overall experience.

Of course, all the yachts will still be there, but boat lovers who’ve attended FLIBS for years may appreciate Bulemore’s thought about the show’s changes: “It’s a fun opportunity to change the perspective a little bit.”

FLIBS By the Numbers

  Expected attendance is about 110,000 people during the five-day event.  The number of exhibitors will be about 1,200, from 52 nations.   boats on display should number about 1,500. Dates for the show are October 31 through November 4. Ticket prices are $33 for anyone 16 or older, $15 for children ages 6 to 15, and free for children younger than 6. A two-day adult ticket costs $57 and is good any two days from November 1-4. The vip package is $300 with a lounge open to attendees 21 or older.

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