Part 3: The 2015 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
Meet Susan Phipps, our designated concierge for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, owner of Freedom Events Management and lover of all things related to the marine industry! Let’s take a look into the years of industry experience she’ll be contributing to the VIP Boat Show hospitality offered inside the Windward Club throughout the course of the Boat Show. Bonus: Be sure to check out more insider news in parts one and two of this interview!
In this final piece of the interview series, we’ll get to learn what Susan is looking forward to at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and the advice she has for attendees!
- What should people be most excited about at FLIBS?
Finding out about this whole new VIP concierge service that you guys are putting together is so on-point and it’s so exciting to me. I’ve wondered for years why nobody has ever done this! I look at some of the people that come to the show and I wonder why they do it, because it can be a pain to get to the show, get in there – I don’t care how much money you have, it can be tedious. Finding out that this service is available is very, very exciting. To bring in the luxury element and VIP experience into the show is going to put it on a whole new level – where it should be!
- What can people expect?
This year in particular, people are going to be wowed by the fact that the manufacturers seem to be making the boats bigger and bigger. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any bigger or better, it has! I’ve been reading some of the trade magazines and seeing some of the previews of what’s coming, and some of these boats are just incredible in their size, their design – it’s really getting over-the-top. I think people will be wowed by that – I know I will be! To watch that show being put together, since I live here and I get to drive by and watch it in little increments – it’s amazing how it’s put together.
- What have you seen change over the years at the show?
The size of the show in general, the size of the boats in general – everything is getting bigger and better. Now we’re bringing this luxury element into it as well, so I think that everyone’s experience is going to be different depending on the buyer, the client, or somebody that’s just interested in boats. I think the experience is now going to cater to what the customer, or potential customer, is coming to the boat show for. Selection certainly won’t be a problem, but if you’re not in the market for a 200-foot yacht, they do have great tender boats (the smaller runaround boats). What the show is able to offer in general to a very large and diverse audience is what you’re going to see change.
- What do you think will change about the boat show and/or industry in the next five years?
I think that as this show grows and becomes more and more of the place to be and the show to come to, that all generates other economical items such as hotels, restaurants, the whole infrastructure that supports all the people that want to come to this. It will start to create a bigger buzz as far as it’s being the place to be.
- What would you tell someone who is thinking about buying a boat?
Having a knowledgeable sales person is key! They know the right questions to ask to make sure that the things they’re showing you are in your budget and are going to meet the requirements that you have in mind of how your boat will be utilized. To walk in off the street and not have those things, you could waste days going to that show and not get to the thing that you should’ve been looking at to begin with. So having crucial information up-front and having somebody that’s knowledgeable enough to get to the right place is invaluable!
- What do you like most about boat shows?
I love seeing new products, I love being able to have all of the boats in one place at one time – usually, they’re spread out all over the place. I love attending the events – they’re always so much fun – and I also enjoy seeing my fellow industry partners. The boat show is a great place to reconnect with people.
- Favorite boat that you’ve seen during a boat show?
There are two styles of boats that I’m always anxious to see year after year are in the Ferretti Group brand – one is Pershing, and the other is Riva. I got to be a part of that when I was with MarineMax, and I just find their design and innovation very exciting.
Don’t Miss the VIP Experience at FLIBS 2015!
Booking through QuintEvents ensures valet parking and all-day admission to the all-inclusive hospitality at the Windward Club, which is conveniently located at the Swimming Hall of Fame right in the heart of the Boat Show. Not only will you be able to escape the sun in an exclusive climate-controlled venue, you’ll also have access to a premium open bar, gourmet food buffets and private dining areas. And – we saved the best for last – Susan Phipps will be available as VIP guests’ personal on-site concierge for reserving intimate yacht tours! If you haven’t reserved your spot at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, now is the time!