RISE OF A POWERHOUSE
Over 58 years, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has gone from modest to massive.
Year after year, the docks in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, are lined with more than 1,000 boats for the city’s fall boat show. But they haven’t always been. Like most success stories, this one has been a journey. ¶ In 1959, only 13 exhibitors assembled at Fort Lauderdale’s War Memorial Auditorium for the first show. But 17 years later, Kay Pearson of Show Management took over and implemented some monumental changes. The exhibition was renamed the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), shift- ed to the fall (when builders released new-year models) and moved to a new location, the Bahia Mar Resort and Yachting Center. That 1976 show hosted 103 exhibitors. ¶ FLIBS continued to evolve and Yachting, having attended the show since its early days, was there to see it. “I remember, more than anything, the transformation of the presentations,” says Terry Jacome, longtime Yachting sales representative and FLIBS attendee. Exhibitor displays were only tables with curtains until FairPromotion formed in 1994 and began to