Contract Signed to Bring International Boat Show Back to Miami Beach

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Contract Signed to Bring International Boat Show Back to Miami Beach:

Plans unveiled to activate Pride Park with culinary, entertainment, educational experiences

It’s official… the International Boat Show is returning to Miami Beach after a six-year absence. Though announced earlier, Mayor Dan Gelber and executives from Informa Markets and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) inked the contract for the on-land portion of the event which will take place on President’s Day weekend 2022.

The event will be held at the Miami Beach Convention Center along with activities and activations across three locations including One Herald Plaza, Sea Isle Marina, and Island Gardens Deep Harbour on Watson Island. 

New: Plans to bring the “ultimate boat show experience” to Pride Park, the 5.8-acre greenspace adjacent to the Convention Center. Previously, the boat show held exhibits on the old surface parking lot. Now, organizers plan to use the newly converted park for special culinary experiences including “a menu of Miami’s finest dining establishments, live concerts and entertainment, and a first look at new product debuts,” according to a joint announcement from Informa and NMMA. “There will also be educational opportunities focusing on various conservation and sustainability topics pertinent to the boating and maritime industry.”

The event, created through a partnership with Informa and the NMMA announced earlier this year, unites the Miami International Boat Show, Miami Yacht Show and Superyacht Miami under the Miami International Boat Show brand, making it the largest boating and yacht show in the world.

Mayor Dan Gelber said one of the things that made the last year of closures especially difficult for a city like Miami Beach is that the city is about gathering. “We like people to come here and celebrate” whether for a family reunion or a convention in the pursuit of shared interests.

“So, this [signing] is especially elevating and heartening for me and my Commission and my city because it’s representing of a return to, really, what we love and what we cherish,” he said. “I think it is a signal that this last tortured year and a half is almost behind us.”

Noting the show will be the largest in the world, Gelber said, “We don’t like to do things little here… Art Basel’s the center of the art universe for a week and, I guess for ten days, we’re going to be the center of the boating and yachting universe and that’s just fine by us. We’re ready to embrace it and to absorb it and enjoy it.”

Informa Markets CEO Charlie McCurdy said the combined boat show is estimated to have an annual economic impact of $1.3 billion. (That’s not a typo. Billion with a b.)

McCurdy, a Miami Beach resident, added, “Miami Beach is one of the premier exhibition and event destinations in the United States and, in fact, the world and I think it’s being more and more recognized that way.”

Informa, the largest event producing company in the world, is the Miami Beach Convention Center’s largest customer. MBCC General Manager Freddie Peterson said Informa has committed to seven annual events here, though McCurdy hinted at more to come. “I think you’ll be seeing more of us… It’s such a great destination.”

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Photo and renderings: Miami International Boat Show

Images of Pride Park exhibition space

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