Dane Graziano: The Yacht & Brokerage Show

The Yacht & Brokerage Show 2012 in Miami Beach is slated to be one of the year’s hautest events. From Feb. 16-20, the event showcases the cream of the crop in terms of yachts and superyachts created by the field’s most talented custom boat builders. Just three days before the show’s kickoff, Haute Living caught up with Dane Graziano, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Show Management, the company that produces the boat show. Graziano gave us a peek into just how much it takes to create such an event, from coordinating the transport of the luxurious vessels to the show site to the development of the show’s brand-new smartphone app, MyBoatShow.

 While the boats are moving in, I’m also overseeing electricians who are hooking up temporary power for the show.

5:30 AM

Wake up and head to show site, located in the heart of beautiful Miami Beach along Collins Avenue on a mile-long strip of the Indian Creek Waterway, situated directly across from such landmark hotels as the Fontainebleau, Eden Roc and Miami Beach Resort and Spa.

6:30 AM

Arrive at the show site. The show encompasses more than 1.2 million square feet of space, including a temporary marina constructed of floating docks to accommodate more than 500 of the finest yachts in the world

7:15 AM

Oversee the delivery of portable, airconditioned restrooms for show attendees, much to everyone’s delight.

8:15 AM

I’m in the show’s onsite office. The electrical department is having its [daily] safety meeting on protocol and procedures. Working on such a unique show site requires safety precautions.

9 AM

Start the procedure of closing one lane of traffic on Collins Avenue along all 1.4 miles of the show. The lane closure occurs after rush-hour traffic, and no boat show vehicles or equipment can block Collins Avenue until that time.

9:30 AM

With one lane of traffic closed, boat show exhibitors start arriving with trucks of furniture, carpet and any other materials they need to set up a beautiful display. I help make sure all of this is coordinated.

9:45 AM

On this particular day, we have to unload engines from Caterpillar, MAN and other engine companies. We use a 70-ton crane to accomplish this. With police supervision, we close another lane of traffic. The crane hoists the engines off their delivery trucks, through the air, and then through the roof of exhibit tents, placing the engines into their display spots.

10 AM

While all this is going on, we are also coordinating boat move-ins. The 63rd Street bridge on the north end of the show is one of three waterway access points for boats to get to our site on the Indian Creek Waterway. Under supervision of the Miami Beach Patrol, we’re allowed to move in vessels no earlier than 10 a.m. after rush hour, and have to stop moving in vessels at 4 p.m.. We’re only allowed to open the bridge on the hour at 10-minute intervals. During that 10-minute period, we can typically move in at least 20 vessels.

10:30 AM

While the boats are moving in, I’m also overseeing electricians who are hooking up temporary power for the show. To give you an idea of the electrical power used on show site, it’s enough kilowatts to run a small metropolitan of 70,000 residences.

11:30 AM

I’m making sure every detail of all our permits is met. We work with a number of agencies including the local Miami Beach municipality, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I communicate with all these agencies to make sure everything is running smoothly.

12:45 PM

Lunchtime! In the tradition of Miami Beach, I usually go to a Jewish deli and have a pastrami or corn beef sandwich. My favorite deli has been there since I graduated Miami Beach Senior High in 1973–the former Arnie & Richie’s on 41st.

1:30 PM

After lunch, I coordinate with the tent companies to make sure all the tents are set up correctly. There are more than 200 different exhibitor barges that have to be temporarily tented, so I need to make sure everything is on schedule and that everyone gets what they ordered.

2:30 PM

I work with our bus company on practice runs to other boat show sites, including the Miami Beach Convention Center and Sea Isle Marina. The shuttle is a free service that we offer to show attendees. I want to make sure that everything will be running smoothly on show days.

3:30 PM

I have a meeting with the company we’ve brought in to staff our information centers and booths so attendees can get information on what’s new this year, such as TrawlerPort, and what there is to do at the show, including free seminars by the International Game Fish Association and browsing the gadgets in the Yacht Equipment Pavilion and Sportfishing Pavilion. In addition to the information centers, we also have personal greeters onboard our buses to welcome people to and from the show and to answer any boat show-related questions they may have.

4:00 PM

I call for all boat move-ins to stop at the 63rd Street bridge. Believe it or not, we’ll have successfully moved in 80 to 100 vessels throughout the day.

4:30 PM

I work with my crew to give the road back to the city. With the help of our security team and off-duty Miami police officers, we reopen the lane on Collins Avenue.

5:30 PM

Meet with our information technology team to make sure everything is up-to-date with our new smartphone app, MyBoatShow. The free app, available on iPhone and Android platforms, is designed to help navigate the show’s docks, land areas and tents. Attendees are able to access show maps and search for exhibitors, manufacturers, product categories and boats by specifications and size. The app also provides the show schedule, seminar information, show transportation schedules and maps, food and drink locations, restroom locations and emergency services.

6:30 PM

Leave the show site looking forward to the start of a new day tomorrow.