Marinas24 Confernece opens to a record attendance

BRISBANE: After a relaxed and casual Welcome Reception on the forecourt of the Royal International Convention Centre (RICC) on Sunday, surrounded by impressive displays from key industry suppliers, Marinas24 International Conference and Trade Exhibition (Marinas24) was opened yesterday by the Hon. Michael Healy MP, Queensland Minister for Tourism Industry Development, to a record 397 delegates. Reaffirming its place as a key global marina industry event, the conference was enhanced by over 60 exhibiting industry businesses.

Commenting on the new venue, Suzanne Davies MIA CEO said, “On the back of record attendance at Marinas22 on the Gold Coast two years ago, it was clear we had outgrown a hotel format for this event. The RICC was selected as it provided us with the flexibility to grow the exhibition and the conference while maintaining the intimacy of sole use of the venue and with the numbers that have supported this event, it was the right decision.”

Following a Welcome to Country, delegates received an economic overview and forecast from Tapas Strickland, NAB Director of Economics, before a panel of industry and tourism experts discussed the opportunities that lay ahead for Brisbane and the marine industry with respect to the 2032 Olympics.

Industry confidence was reaffirmed as Andrew Chapman, MIA President released the findings of the 2023 Health of the Australian Marina Industry Survey (HAMIS) which puts the Economic Contribution of the industry at a remarkable $2.24B. MIA CEO, Suzanne Davies went on to explain how this progressive industry association will continue to support marina industry businesses to flourish.

Plenty of break time was allocated to enable delegates to visit the 60 + industry exhibitors and update themselves on the latest products and services on offer.

The afternoon was a series of concurrent sessions which dealt with the opportunities for improved boatyard management, creative and targeted marketing, and innovations. Key industry issues were also discussed including, the impacts of extreme weather, security and workforce planning and management. Lithium management and risk mitigation was always going to be a well-attended session and the new publications and resources for marina managers and boat owners launched by Nautilus Marine Insurance were very well received.

The day concluded with the North Harbour Happy Hour; a structured networking event designed to expand delegate networks. One very happy delegate left with the lucky door prize, a bottle of 2011 Grange Hermitage. Then everyone piled into the Bellingham Bar across the road to continue their ‘networking’.

The conference on Tuesday opened with the keynote panel Designing Marina Precincts, chaired by Urbis Managing Partner James Tuma. The panel featured the return of Marinas22’s favourite speaker Joe Ueberroth, owner of Bellingham Marine and Dana Point Marina. Joe was joined by Greg Shaw CEO Mulpha, owner of Sanctuary Cove and Hayman Island Resorts and Bryan Finney of the greenfield North Harbour marine precinct currently under development in Brisbane’s north as they shared how to create successful, vibrant, profitable precincts.

The event organizer, the Marina Industries Association (MIA) clearly demonstrated how to bring an industry together to collaborate for shared growth and success. The event allows plenty of time for this collegiate industry to network, renew old friendships and make new connections by facilitating at least one social function each day.

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