Most yachting-industry conferences are just that, industry conferences. The Superyacht Summit, however, is different. While it educates yachting executives on a variety of topics, it also updates captains and owners’ reps. In fact, it’s the only conference regularly featuring legislative updates and initiatives that impact your lifestyle. Next March, the Superyacht Summit, hosted by the U.S. Superyacht Association (USSA), will mark its fifth-consecutive year of doing this, and more. And, it will mark the fourth-consecutive year that our editor, Diane M. Byrne, is chairperson.
Set for March 20 in West Palm Beach, the event dovetails with the annual Palm Beach International Boat Show. The boat show starts on the 22nd, and is increasing in significance and influence as a superyacht show. The Superyacht Summit brings together regional, national, and international professionals. Earlier this year, for example, the event attracted more than 150 attendees. They represented a cross-section of backgrounds, from marinas to yacht management, service providers to shipyards, and captains to consultants. Just as next year’s Superyacht Summit will do, the event combined full-assembly presentations with smaller breakout sessions (below).
“The feedback we receive from the Summit is tremendous,” explains Byrne, who is also vice chair of the USSA. “Many participants, both members and non-members alike, tell us that it’s hands-down the best symposium they attend each year. We, therefore, strive to create even better programming, and to zero in on the challenges fellow professionals face in their businesses—including ones they may not even know are on the horizon.”
One such challenge comes from social media. Facebook, Instagram, and other sites are populated with thousands of photos and videos of yachts. Some of these are taken up close and/or onboard, and sometimes unbeknownst to owners and crew. At the Superyacht Summit, lawyers well-versed in 1st Amendment law will cover social media’s privacy and publicity issues. Another session is titled “Identity Crisis: Combating the Image of Superyacht Owners as Villains.” It will identify why yacht owners are so often portrayed—and perceived—as scoundrels at best and crooks at worst. Simultaneously, it will provide facts as a counterpoint, to start positively influencing the messaging and imaging. Of course, Summit speakers will describe the latest legislative accomplishments, like the new yachting-specific foreign-trade zone in Fort Lauderdale and efforts to raise the tonnage limit for flagging domestically.
Early-bird registration for the Superyacht Summit opens in December. It’s $325 for members and certain yachting-association members, $395 for non-members. After March 2, registration rises to $375 and $395, respectively. Visit the USSA website for details, or email the USSA.