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Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Will Feature 2 New Events To Shake Things Up A Bit

The countdown is on. 

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is set to take place Nov. 5 through Nov. 9, and this year, the event will feature two new attractions. 

Whether you’re a boating enthusiast craving the luxe treatment, or an exhibitor looking to show your clients a good time with some music and entertainment, chances are at least one of these affairs will be a welcome addition. 

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This year, the show has partnered with Quint Events—a hospitality company that has created luxury packages for the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby and NBA All-Star Game—to develop a VIP treatment ticket package for guests. 

The cost includes entry to the boat show and access to the VIP lounge at the Hall of Fame Marina, where guests can dine on gourmet food and enjoy a premium open bar. In addition, VIP guests can take advantage of on-site valet parking—a perk that boat show organizer Brett Keating, of Show Management, jokes “alone is worth it.” A yacht concierge will also be available to coordinate private tours of some of the vessels.

The package will be available for Nov. 5, Nov. 6 and Nov. 7. Tickets are $399 for one day or $1,099 for three days.

On Nov. 6, exhibitors and their invited guests are invited to unwind and mingle at the Blue Party. The event, hosted at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center’s Sailfish Pavilion, will feature music, entertainment, prizes and plenty of blue lights, glowing drinks and neon colors. 

Show organizers will be selling tickets in bundles to the exhibitors, who are then encouraged to give them out to their clients. Keating, who has held similar affairs at fishing tournaments in the past, says the event is always very well-received. 

“People just kind of become kids,” she said. “They just love those glowing things.”

All proceeds from raffle tickets sold at the event will go toward the Children's Diagnostic & Treatment Center, which serves more than 11,000 children with special healthcare needs in Broward. 

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is currently the biggest in-water boat show in the world, and Keating said the goal is to continue making it a must-attend event—for both regulars and newcomers. Adding new events keeps things interesting.

“Keep it fresh, new, exciting and engaging. That’s what it’s all about,” she said. 

In addition to the VIP package and Blue Party, Keating said one other aspect to look forward to is the food. 

“Everybody’s a foodie now, so you’ve got to branch out from hot dogs and hamburgers a little bit,” she said, noting that those staples will, of course, still be available. 

Now with the boat show a little over two months away, the focus is on getting the new site up and running. The event is undergoing a huge rebranding effort—that includes a new logo, new creative campaign and its own website—for its upcoming 56th annual edition. 

Keating said she hopes to have the website—FLIBS.com—up by Labor Day weekend. 

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