Andrew Doole sets a course for success

Oct 29, 2021 by Dorie Cox

Behind the Scenes: Andrew Doole sets a course for success, despite show challenges

Andrew Doole is president of Informa’s U.S. Boat Show division.  Informa, which owns the Monaco Yacht Show, is the operator of the Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach international boat shows.

Andrew has navigated many boat show challenges since his first show, nearly four decades ago. Just the task of monitoring three million square feet of exhibit space and docks, hundreds of boats and vendors, and thousands of visitors is overwhelming. Then, add in the challenges he has seen over the years.

In 1982, the Fort Lauderdale show moved to Broward County’s Port Everglades. With proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the docks were affected by the water movement of the tide and current. Even with wave attenuators to reduce the moving water’s energy, the waves still rolled in, Andrew said during a pre-boat show Zoom call.

Then there were springtime boat shows complete with tornadoes. And one year there was a boycott of the show due to workers union issues.

Despite the seriousness of these predicaments, even more troublesome was Hurricane Wilma in 2005. “It looked like Hiroshima,” Andrew said.

And then, last year: the 2020 pandemic. But just like every year, the Informa group held course and the show went on.

This year, hopes are high, although finding temporary labor has been tough, according to Andrew.

“We started last year getting everything needed,” he said. “It is just more expensive.”

And international travel challenges have kept some of this year’s exhibitors and vendors out of the U.S. “Our most frustrating issue is the restriction on European travel as of November 1,” Andrew said. “We would have seen 10 or more that can’t be here. It’s a shame, but we hope they open offices here to get around that.”

There are a lot of moving parts, he said, and while they are trying to reach financial goals, exhibitors are still not back to normal inventory levels.

Nevertheless, Andrew has full expectation of a successful show. The good news for this year is that the Greater Fort Lauderdale-Broward County Convention Center is online, as is the Superyacht Village.

“That was missed last year,” Andrew said. “It’s the most convenient place for big-boat owners. They can meet there and take a water taxi to the rest of the show.”

Aside from the ongoing unforeseen surprises, Andrew retains confidence in boat show outcomes in the near future. Attendance sales, which continue to grow, were exceptionally strong this year, considering the challenges.

People like to comparison shop, and this is the only place to see all the products together, he said.

Topics:

About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is a writer with Triton News.

View all posts by Dorie Cox →



Related Articles

Canadian Maritimes offer secluded cruising

Canadian Maritimes offer secluded cruising

As the nations of the world began to close down this spring, many captains and charter managers began looking for alternative cruising grounds closer to home. In the U.S.,

One captain’s mission to ‘bullet proof’ his A/C system

One captain’s mission to ‘bullet proof’ his A/C system

After more than 30 years playing with, working on and running boats in several sectors of the maritime industry, one thing about yachting made Capt. Herb Magney nuts: how

Meet Terri Kennedy of Informa

Meet Terri Kennedy of Informa

Behind the Scenes: Terri Kennedy, Informa’s director of registration and admission Meet Terri Kennedy, 60, who holds the title of director of registration and admissions at Informa, the …

What the FLIBS? How and why Fort Lauderdale chose to buck the ‘cancel culture’

What the FLIBS? How and why Fort Lauderdale chose to buck the ‘cancel culture’

People across the global yachting industry were aghast when local government officials in Fort Lauderdale gave the owners and organizers of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show the green …

Could boatyard buyouts mean changes ahead for contractors and captains?

Could boatyard buyouts mean changes ahead for contractors and captains?

Soaring boats sales and a boom in waterfront housing have made savvy investors see the value in preexisting boatyards as limited commodities uniquely poised to service and house all those big, …

FLIBS20: Marinas began upgrades long before COVID

FLIBS20: Marinas began upgrades long before COVID

Anyone who physically arrived at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this year was in for a big surprise.  Most of the five marinas (six, if we count the