Set sail for another successful Seawork
More than 7,000 visitors are again expected to attend Europe’s premier commercial marine exhibition and conference.
The Seawork International Commercial Marine Exhibition and Conference returns to its familiar quayside location in the UK Port of Southampton for the 14th consecutive year this summer.
Long established as the most popular event of its kind in Europe, Seawork continues to evolve, growing throughout the global recession and always looking to add dimensions which enhance the Seawork experience for visitors and exhibitors alike.
Seawork 14, taking place this year on 14 through 16 June, anticipates record numbers of empowered to purchase visitors again travelling from around Europe and beyond to meet with the 450 plus exhibitors filling the under cover exhibition area, outdoor quayside spaces and bringing workboats of all types to Seawork’s unique floating pontoon.
Seawork’s organising team is always seeking to improve the event and additional fine tuning has gone into preparations for Seawork 2011. Special interest pavilions remain spread throughout the site. The very popular restaurant contractor at Seawork 2010 has been retained, with facilities remaining at the northwest end of Hall 1. Wi-Fi capacity is being boosted throughout the site and the successful car parking arrangements of last year have also been retained. The shuttle bus service will again run between Seawork and Southampton Central Station.
Participants always enjoy Seawork as a convergence and celebration of Europe’s commercial marine industries. Old friends meet, new friends are made, and networking opportunities abound. Indeed, Seawork’s primary purpose is to provide a congenial and conducive environment in which to do business.
Over the past five years, there has been a steady increase in the interest Government Departments have taken in supporting Seawork. This year all these departments will be centred in one area around the UKTI pavilion. The UK Trade and Investment Department itself exists to support British exports and will again be running its valuable Meet the Buyer event, in which interested companies meet Commercial Officers from overseas nations and gain advice on doing business with those countries.
The UK Ministry of Defence now uses Seawork for its Industry Relations Day on behalf of the Defence Equipment and Support organisation (DE&S). The Boats and Sea Safety Section (BASS), responsible for the purchase and support of all boats for the MoD, has a stand where it meets with existing suppliers and meets potential new ones. The MoD also runs a seminar at Seawork where companies can learn how to develop business with them.
The Defence and Security Organisation within the UKTI will be supporting visits from overseas naval attaches interested in maritime security, boats and other equipment. The DSO also supports Seawork’s Maritime Security Pavilion, attending the Exclusive Economic Zone Industry Group and offering market advice to exporting countries. The Home Office, also interested in marine security, is represented through the ADS, based in the Maritime Security Pavilion.
Elsewhere, with marine renewable energy continuing to be a major marine industries growth area, the RenewableUK Renewable Energy Pavilion sponsored the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association has doubled in size. The Pavilion will include a stand for the Crown Estate, which manages a diverse £6bn property portfolio that includes virtually all UK seabed to 12 nautical miles offshore, for which leases to develop marine energy sites are issued. On Wednesday15 June, the Crown Estate and Renewable UK will each host two seminars at which participants can learn more about the major opportunities which abound in this fast ascending sector.
The three day Seawork conference programme, which runs throughout the exhibition, provides valuable insights into the vital issues affecting every sector of the commercial marine industry. In total, 24 papers will be presented, attracting hundreds of professionals involved in the industries served by Seawork. Not only is it a great learning opportunity but also an exceptional forum for networking. All sessions are free to attend. In addition to the Marine Energy theme on Wednesday, the Tuesday morning programme features presentations by UKTI and the MoD, while the afternoon sessions focus on marine civil engineering, a major component of onshore and offshore activity in Europe. Concurrently, Hydrography will be the theme in Conference Room 2, with papers confirmed from the Port of London Authority, Geomatix and the Hydrographic Society. Thursday morning will be devoted to safety issues, with papers presented by the MCA and the RNLI. Thursday’s afternoon sessions are of great importance to all vessel operators, covering the impact of the European Fuels Quality Directive, improvements in propeller design by CJR Propulsion and concluding with Martyn Lightfoot of Babcock Marine presenting on Lightweight Craft Technology.
Another now well established and popular element of Seawork is the Spirit of Innovation Showcase, in which exhibitors are encouraged to make free entry of products, vessels and projects developed or undertaken over the last 12 months. Entries are judged in five main categories, with category winners and the overall winner of the coveted Spirit of Innovation Trophy announced at the Seawork Awards Dinner.
The annual Awards Dinner has become an important part of the Seawork package, attracting more than 400 exhibitors and theirguests. Comprising a three course meal withentertainment and presentation of the Spirit of Innovations Awards, the Dinner provides an excellent opportunity for exhibitors to network and entertain their guests in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
The Awards Dinner is again sponsored by ZF Marine and will be compered by Garry Richardson, sports anchor on the Today Programme. Garry will steer the evening from pre-dinner drinks through the meal and will then announce the award winners. He will wrap up the evening with humorous, behind the scenes sporting stories.
[This article first appeared in Maritime Journal.]