The 2017 ICOMIA/IFBSO Congress was held on Australia’s Gold Coast last week from May 24-27, attracting marine industry leaders from around the world.

ICOMIA, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations, and IFBSO, the International Federation of Boat Show Organisers, hold the joint congress in a different location each year to coordinate programmes between cooperating countries.

The host of this year’s event was the Boating Industry Association of Australia (BIA), which put together a successful three-day programme of meetings, seminars, workshops and events at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort. It began with an IFBSO 'speed dating' workshop that gave delegates an opportunity to meet each other on a one-to-one basis.

During the congress, the secretary generals of both IFBSO and ICOMIA, Renate Maddocks-Born and Udo Kleinitz, unveiled details of a newly formed Joint Working Group comprised of a small number of members from both organisations. The new taskforce replaces the ICOMIA Boat Show Committee with immediate effect and is just one example of the increasingly close relationship between the two organisations.

Congress highlights included a presentation by keynote speaker Roy Wakelin-King of NSW Roads & Maritime Services on ‘The Shared Economy and the Impact of Disruption', as well as the Australian Marine Industry Showcase Lunch, an IFBSO workshop on social media, and a presentation by Roselle Tenefrancia and Andy Kanchachian of Boat Gold Coast magazine. It ended with an industry tour of Telwater’s manufacturing facility or a visit to the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show.

The officers and members serving on the IFBSO Executive Committee for 2017/18 were also elected during an AGM on May 26. They are as follows:

  • Goetz-Ulf Jungmichel (DSV-German Sailing Federation) – President
  • Irene Dros (METS-Amsterdam RAI) – Vice President
  • Bengt Wallin (Gothenburg Boat Show) – Treasurer
  • Murray Ellis (London & Southampton International Boat Show) – Member
  • Jerry Flaxman (Atlantic City In Water Power Boat Show) – Member
  • Helena Gao (China Shanghai Intl Boat Show) – Member
  • Domenic Genua (BIA – Sydney International Boat Show) – Member
  • Dirk Kreidenweiss, (Interboot Friedrichshafen) – Member
  • Jennifer Thompson (Miami Intl Boat Show) – Member
  • Hanse Thorslund (Stockholm International Boat Show) – Member
  • Rens-Jan van Vliet, (METS-Amsterdam RAI) – Member

Next year’s ICOMIA/IFBSO Congress will be held in Berlin, Germany from June 5-8.