Next week will be the big day: on 9 September 2014, the 26th SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair hamburg, will open its gates. More than 50,000 industry visitors are expected to attend the most important trade event of the maritime sector, and over 2,100 exhibitors from 67 countries will be present, more than ever before. For the first time, companies from Egypt, Lebanon and Sri Lanka will be represented on the exhibition floor, and Dubai is setting up its first-ever national pavilion. The entire fair site, covering roughly 90,000 square metres, is fully booked.
A new sector in focus each day
That is an enormous amount of space, and the fair hosts are making good use of it: “This year, we have chosen a key topic of the industry for each one of the fair days: Finance, Environment, Security and Defence, Offshore and Recruiting,” says Bernd Aufderheide, CEO and President of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. This clear structure is helpful to exhibitors and visitors alike. Distinguished international experts will be present to lecture on each topic. In addition to the conference programme, fair visitors from all over the world will benefit from a comprehensive special-events programme comprising more than 150 individual events (workshops, symposia etc.).
Festive oping on the eve of the fair
n Monday evening (8 September), ahead of the official beginning of the fair, a festive opening event for invited guests will take place at Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH). Hamburg Messe CEO Aufderheide will personally welcome exhibitors and visitors to the city of Hamburg. Other speakers will include Senator Frank Horch from the Hamburg Department of Economics, Transport and Innovation, and Mr. Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry. Mike Dawson, professional yacht skipper, will add a bit of adventure to the evening by reporting on his travels across international waters, such as his 189-day trip from Japan to San Francisco in a rowing boat.
Innovations great and small
This year’s SMM in Hamburg is built upon four pillars – the “Four Capital I’s”: Identification, Integration, Internationality and Innovation. In particular, the Innovation topic will feature prominently on the agenda. Naturally, it will be the big exhibits that first catch the fair visitors’ eyes: giant ship engines set up by Wärtsilä and MAN at their SMM booths, huge bow thrusters by Voith or ABB, and bridge technology by Kongsberg or Raytheon Anschütz. The open-air exhibition area will showcase impressive cranes, fully automated lifting trucks, container-based cold ironing power stations, and a big huge ship propeller set-up by Mecklenburger Metallguss GmbH (MMG). Less conspicuous innovations include pilot-operated safety valves by valve specialist Leser; custom-tailored ship operation software solutions by companies such as Buss Data or Logimatic; advanced sea map rendering equipment by ECDIS; rubber-like spray-on coatings by MetaLine Surface Protection; or next-generation ballast water management (BWM) filters offered by companies such as Boll & Kirch Filtertechnik. SMM represents the entire spectrum of maritime innovation.
With a fully booked fair site and more exhibitors than ever, SMM sets a new record this year. Backed by its principal sponsor, DNV GL, this event does full justice to its reputation as the leading international trade fair for the maritime industry. It is again held under the patronage of German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel.