This Year’s Palm Beach International Boat Show Will Go On – With Actual Physical Attendance

Covid restrictions will be in place, and expect a smaller event - but the it's a positive sign of things to come.

Palm Beach International Boat Show

Last year the Palm Beach International Boat Show was virtual. This year, marking its 35th anniversary, the Informa show is returning to an in-person format with Covid-19 safety protocols in place, including mandatory masks, an open-air layout and an increased number of entry and exit points. With limited international travel, organisers expect a more regional show.

Running from March 25-28, the downtown show will feature more than $1.2 billion worth of yachts and maritime accessories. Superyachts confirmed to be present this year include the 42-foot award-winning Amels Plvs Vltra and the Lürssen 279-foot ACE. The Princess X95 will make its world debut at the show. Palm Beach typically attracts around 53,000 visitors, but attendee numbers are expected to be down this year.

Andrew Doole, president of Informa Markets US Boat Shows, says Covid-19 measures are being taken seriously, with organisers working closely with the City of West Palm Beach to ensure a thorough safety plan for all participants.

The Palm Beach International Boat Show

Masks will be required at this year’s event. Courtesy of Informa 

“This year’s event is open-air thanks to our updated layout, and the show will be entirely ticketless,” Doole told Robb Report. “We bring experience from having successfully hosted the St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show earlier this year and, prior to that, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in the fall of 2020.”

The safety measures will require all participants to wear face coverings and have their temperature taken at the entrance. Hand cleaning and sanitation stations will be placed throughout the event and the show site will be deep cleaned before, during and after each day’s event. The number of entrances and exits have increased from two to six to help ease the flow of pedestrian traffic while facilitating social distancing. There will also be a limit on how many guests will be allowed to board the boats and exhibits at any one time.

The Palm Beach show is Informa’s second large-scale format event confirmed to take place in 2021, following the announcement last week that the Monaco Yacht Show will be staged in September. With global travel restrictions still in place throughout much of the world, Doole anticipates the US show to be a more localised event, made up of visitors and exhibitors mostly from South Florida.

The Palm Beach International Boat Show

Organiser Informa had practice with instituting Covid protocols at last fall’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Courtesy of Informa 

“Historically, the majority of exhibitors have been local to the tri-county region, and we expect this year’s show to be similar in that respect,” he says. “While we would normally have a wide listing of international exhibitors, as a result of continued Covid-19 restrictions on travel to the United States, we anticipate a limited number of international exhibitors and visitors to be in attendance this year.”

Alongside official government and local authority guidance and regulations, Informa’s Allsecure health and safety standards will also be in place. “The health and safety of our staff, exhibitors, visitors, and community remains our number-one priority,” said Doole. “We also recognize the importance of our boat shows to the local and state economy, and the marine industry at large.”

The Palm Beach International Boat Show

Like the Fort Lauderdale show, travel restrictions were in place, so Palm Beach also promises to be more of a regional South Florida show than an international event. Courtesy of Informa 

VIP ticket holders will be permitted to enter the show one hour before opening, with access to the Windward VIP Club. The popular AquaZone and Kids Fishing Clinics will still go ahead.

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