The combined International Boatbuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) and Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS) opened Tuesday, September 28 at its new venue, the Louisville at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

In addition to an industry research presentation of the year and new seminars to address all marine industry stakeholders, show highlights this year include the following:

Tuesday, September 28 – 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Annual Industry Breakfast – The presentation will open with Thom Dammrich, President of NMMA, followed by the Mel Barr Award, CSI Award, and 2010 IBEX Innovation Award ceremonies. Following the awards, Frank Peterson, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation President and CEO, will give a special presentation on results from a new quantitative study on consumer attitudes toward boat ownership and purchase. This year's keynote speaker, Tori Murden McClure (the first woman and American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean) will follow Peterson with her address: Dare Mighty Things. The cost to attend is US $25. Tickets are available at registration or at the door.

6:30 p.m. – Opening Night Party: Fourth Street LIVE! – All IBEX exhibitors and attendees are invited to enjoy downtime at Louisville's premier entertainment district located on Fourth Street in the heart of historic downtown Louisville. Just a short walk from downtown hotels, Fourth Street LIVE! is the IBEX social destination to kick off a week of business productivity. Drink and dinner specials will be offered to IBEX badge holders at several restaurants and bars on Fourth Street.

Wednesday, September 29 – 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Special session Using Market Intelligence for Market Growth – This session will explore the year's most comprehensive market research, statistics and data, and feature a panel of five leading industry researchers who will share their insights on how a company can grow its market share by leveraging a combination of proprietary research tools. All attendees will receive a complimentary DVD of NMMA's 2009 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract and the 2010 Boating Industry Marketing Communications Study Executive Summary. NMMA's Director of Industry Statistics and Research, Jim Petru, will moderate the session. Panelists include Ron Hein, Foresight Research; Jerry Mona, Left Brain Marketing; Dr. Ed Mahoney, Recreational Marine Research Center (RMRC); Jack Ellis, Info-Link Technologies; and Tom Walworth, Statistical Surveys Inc.

6:15 p.m to 7:45p.m. – Special Session Navigating the Global Marketplace – Today's economy is international. It's now common to source materials and labor from one country, assemble in another, and export to a third, offering tremendous opportunities to provide professional services in other countries. This session will educate attendees on how to navigate the regulations both in the U.S. and internationally. The panelists are veterans of offshore boatbuilding – from China to Poland to Dubai – and will bring a wealth of experience and expert advice.

Each day, IBEX will also offer: MAATS Aftermarket Pavilion – See and shop for the newest marine aftermarket products. Hundreds of new innovations are unveiled each year and are shown first at IBEX. Attendees can conduct strategic discussions, business reviews and negotiations with suppliers; get up-to-date with changing industry trends; and attend seminars specifically designed to introduce relevant new technologies, products and services to marine dealers and distributors.

Dealer Development for Service & Parts Managers – Developed for IBEX 2010 to educate service and parts managers on what they'll need to do to improve the profitability of their operation. This program will focus on the future of boating technologies and allow attendees to meet with accessory manufacturer technical staff to learn first-hand what's in the accessory pipeline.