2020 boat shows: Surviving and thriving


Here’s how 2020 boat shows adapted due to Covid.

The world’s largest 2020 boat shows have found innovative ways to adapt, offering video walkthroughs, virtual tours, and custom digital content. Read more.

photo @Dubai Boat Show

The pandemic has forced many of the world’s most significant events to adapt. Despite coronavirus, many 2020 boat shows have forged ahead, finding innovative ways to host shows, whilst still adhering to strict Covid-secure health and safety measures. From virtual showings, to in-person viewings and open houses, here’s how some of the biggest 2020 boat shows adapted and thrived this year.

@Palm Beach International Boat Show

Palm Beach International 2020 Boat Show

The Palm Beach International Boat Show was quick to respond to the current pandemic, hosting its 2020 boat show May 14. An entirely virtual event, the 2020 boat show was held some six weeks after the show was initially scheduled.

Guests were able to enjoy exclusive video walkthroughs, virtual tours, alongside custom digital content, all from the comfort of their home. Yacht brokers and yacht industry professionals were also available to chat virtually via FaceTime.

@Seattle Boats Afloat Show

Seattle Boats Afloat Show

The 2020 boat show Seattle Boats Afloat took place Sept. 18-20, offering a robust digital presence coupled with individual brokers’ open houses.

“Due to Covid-19 we have opted to continue the tradition of the show and transition into individual brokers’ open houses,” a rep for the Northwest Yacht Brokers Association said. “This will allow for social distancing and still provide the same benefits the in-water show has delivered to our attendees for over 40 years.”

The show utilised popular media platforms, including Facetime and Microsoft Teams, to host virtual showings, whilst live showings were held with a limited number of people allowed on each yacht to facilitate social distancing.

Guests could also attend the show virtually, offering the perfect opportunity for attendees to view superyacht sales without having to attend physically. The 2020 boat show also limited the amount of printed materials available, instead making use of QR codes which guests could scan and download information directly to their digital device.

@Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Fort Lauderdale International 2020 Boat Show

The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show 2020 is slated to be held Oct. 28 – Nov. 1. The five-day 2020 boat show is being marketed as the ultimate boat show experience, hosting some 1,000 exhibitors, and more than 1,300 boats on display across more than 90 acres. The boat show will also host several Fort Lauderdale yacht brokers, who will be on hand to showcase some of the world’s most luxurious yachts for sale and charter.

To ensure a safe event, organisers have released a video highlighting some of the key changes and safety measures at this year’s event. These include increased and widened entrances to allow people to enter and exit the boat show whilst maintaining social distancing, a contactless ticketing system, temperature checks at entry, widened docks, hygiene stations throughout the show, and enhanced deep cleaning. Additionally, guests aged two years and older, as well as exhibitors, will be required to wear a face covering.

The 2020 boat show is produced by Informa Markets, the world’s leading yacht show organiser.

An Informa press release said that the changes to FLIBS are “being implemented as a result of the group’s newly adopted All Secure health and safety standards and in coordination with the CDC, local government, and authorities.
The All Secure standards, which were introduced earlier this year, are organised into four key areas: Physical Distancing; Cleaning and Hygiene Countermeasures; Protection and Detection; and Communication.”

@Monaco Yacht Show

2020 boat shows and beyond

Another popular boat show being held this year is the Dubai International Boat Show. The 2020 boat show is scheduled to run from Nov. 24-28 at Dubai Harbour and is set to showcase a plethora of the world’s most exquisite superyachts up to 106-metres. Although organisers have not announced specific Covid secure measures that are in place, face coverings, social distancing, and hand sanitising stations are all the norm across the UAE state.

Other events planning to go ahead next year include the Miami Yacht Show, from Feb. 11-15, the MYBA Show in Barcelona, from April 26-29, and the Monaco Yacht Show, scheduled for Sept. 2021.

Whilst many organisers will be hoping to run next year’s boat shows under normal conditions, no doubt like the 2020 boat shows, they will be able to adapt if need be.