May 08, 2020

2020 Palm Beach Boat Show Canceled Due to COVID-19

palm beach boat show

2020 Palm Beach Boat Show Canceled Due to COVID-19

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has forced numerous yachting events to postpone or cancel. The Palm Beach International Boat Show 2020 is the latest of a growing list of major industry events to be cancelled due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns. An event that regularly attracts thousands of visitors and tourists to Palm Beach County, this cancellation represents a major blow to the area as well as many exhibitors.

Originally scheduled for March 26 – 29, the show’s organizers first announced the show would be rescheduled for May 14 – 17. Other events slated to run concurrently with the 2020 Palm Beach Boat Show such as the Superyacht Show Palm Beach and the inaugural Superyacht Experience were canceled until 2021. However, organizers were still confident the main event would take place.

“We remain optimistic that this event happens in May. The show is a huge economic driver and a lot of businesses depend on it. We hope the boats and the people who are here will be extending their stays and that by that time, the CDC will have eased restrictions. We’re just taking this day by day.” – Alyssa Freeman, Executive Director of Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County [1]

Unfortunately, the in-person Palm Beach Show was canceled soon after President Donald Trump announced a ban on flights from Europe. Thankfully, the show’s organizers were quick to offer and alternative – a virtual boat show.

Virtual Palm Beach International Boat Show 2020

As a response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Palm Beach International Boat Show 2020 will be moved to virtual platform. The first ever virtual Palm Beach Boat Show was held from Thursday, May 14 to Sunday, May 17. Those who participated in the virtual event were able to tour almost 800 vessels, check out exhibitors, and attend livestream seminars.

As one of the top five boat shows in the country, the forced cancellation of the in-person event will undoubtedly have a big economic effect. Organizers wanted to decrease that loss and continue to support exhibitors that were planning to attend. That’s why they chose to host this virtual boat show.

"A lot of these exhibitors, this could be 60 percent of what they're going to do business in the year, so we wanted to do something to give back to the exhibitors and to the attendees.” – Andrew Doole, President of the U.S. Boat Show Division for Informa Markets [2]

What Is the Status of the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show?

Despite the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show scheduled for much later in the year, the recent series of cancellations and postponements affecting the yacht industry’s biggest events has many people anxious. Scheduled for October 28 to November 1, there has been no postponements or cancelations announced.

Representatives from one of the show’s organizers, Informa Markets, did say that they will continue using its virtual platform and likely offer virtual versions of their upcoming shows leading up to their physical openings.  With their virtual platform, more people will be given the opportunity to virtually tour boats and interact with vendors.

Yacht Management South Florida, Inc. is a Fort Lauderdale yacht management company specializing in complete yacht care. Our team of yacht managers and technicians work together to ensure stress-free yacht ownership to all our clients. Contact us or call (954) 941-6447 to learn more about our monthly management programs!



1.       Dorie Cox, The Triton – PBIBS20: New May dates picked for Palm Beach boat show

2.       Stephanie Susskind, WPTV West Palm Beach – Virtual Palm Beach International Boat Show starts Thursday

3.       Lucy Chabot Reed, The Triton – PBIBS20: Palm Beach show opens with horn blast

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