It was another full success: With more than 2,100 exhibitors from all around the world, including 150 first-timers, 50,000 industry visitors, and 90,000 square metres of exhibition space, SMM has demonstrated once again what it means to be the leading international trade fair of the maritime industry. After four days brimming with activity, the 26th SMM came to a close with a CEO and President of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH fully content: “We set new records this year”, said Bernd Aufderheide. The industry’s top event again took place under the patronage of the German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel.
With26 national pavilions and exhibitors from 67 different countries, this year’s fair was more international than ever. For the first time, companies from Egypt, Lebanon and Sri Lanka participated in the fair, and Dubai set up its first-ever national pavilion. The Asian market was well-represented, as well. Major players from Korea, Japan and China showcased their impressive portfolios. Of course, German companies featured prominently at SMM. German ingenuity was palpable in all of the exhibition halls. “SMM 2014 set new participation records, with a host of innovative products demonstrating the high level of technological development in this industry,” emphasised Dr Reinhard Lüken, General Managing Director of the German Shipbuilding and Ocean Industries Association (VSM).
High level of visitor satisfaction
Not only the exhibitors were enthusiastic about the fair, the visitors likewise expressed their satisfaction. According to an independent survey, 96 per cent of visitors asked said they found the fair “good” or “very good”. 94 per cent said they would gladly recommend SMM. Executives from all target segments were present, a fact reflected by the positive responses from exhibitors.
Major contracts signed
This year again, the fair provided an ideal backdrop for signing business deals. In fact, a major contract was signed by Peter Fetten (Carnival) and Blohm+Voss Repair CEO Jan-Kees Pilaar at the booth of B+V. Carnival Corporation, Miami (USA), the world’s largest cruiseship company, is going to have its entire Europe fleet, including the Club vessels of Aida Cruises, Costa Crociere, Cunard Line and P&O Cruises, among others, repaired and upgraded exclusively by Blohm+Voss. MAN Diesel&Turbo SE signed a new licence agreement with Qingdao Haixi Marine Diesel Co., Ltd. (QMD), enabling the company to better serve its customers in the important northern Chinese market.
Discussions on current topics
The protection of the marine environment and the improvement of ship efficiency were among the top items on the SMM agenda. “The shipping industry, working closely together with shipbuilders and suppliers, continues to devote considerable resources and capital to the development and implementation of a wide range of new technologies that protect air and water quality and increase energy efficiency,” said MAN Diesel & Turbo Executive Dr Stephan Timmermann. In particular, the demand for LNG technology is strong, he added.
Impressive innovations and presentations
Many innovative presentation concepts made the fair a feast for the eyes. DNV GL delighted the visitors with one of the most impressive and innovative stands of the entire fair. To provide adequate space for lectures, panel discussions and debates, the world’s leading classification society had prepared the “DNV GL Forum”, a sizable auditorium right next to the company booth, which was used extensively. Tor E. Svensen, CEO of DNV GL Maritime, praised the innovative spirit radiated by SMM: “As a technology-focused industry fair, SMM clearly illustrates the shipbuilding industry’s enormous innovative potential.” DNV GL was this year’s principal sponsor of SMM. Like the lead fair, also the accompanying special events programme set new standards. In particular, the integrated conferences were extremely well received, including gmec (Final Report), MS&D (Final Report), SMM Offshore Dialogue (with as many as 450 participants), SMM Ship Finance Forum (120 attendees) and the brand-new Recruiting Day, which aimed to attract highly-qualified staff for the shipping industry.
In 2016, SMM will return to Hamburg 6 to 9 September.