Record-breaking figures from Ocean Business

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After review and analysis of attendance figures, the 10th anniversary Ocean Business, held at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK in April, once again exceeded all expectations with 4,350 attendees through the door from 61 countries.

Versha Carter, Group Director of Diversified Communications, said: “Visitor numbers were up by three per cent with an amazing 38 per cent coming from outside of the UK.  Not only did we have more actual bodies through the door but they stayed for longer which added to the show being the busiest ever.  We have had many exhibitors saying that Ocean Business has now become the best ocean technology show in the industry and most certainly the one that offers the best return on investment.  We went onsite for this event very much aware that the industry is still in the midst of challenging times and it was wonderful to see how Ocean Business provided that vote of confidence and delivered a much needed boost back in to the industry.”

The team was inundated with emails and telephone calls from exhibitors about the quality of this year’s show, including Terry Sloane, MD of Planet Ocean, who said: “It has been the busiest trade show we have ever attended, not just Ocean Business, but any trade show in the industry!”

With over 360 international exhibitors from 26 different countries, this was the biggest exhibition at Ocean Business yet.

Cheri Arvonio, Event Manager, said: “Despite always having a waiting list for this event at least six months out of the show – this year we were able to accommodate even more companies than ever before.  Judging by the feedback we are expecting that between 80 and 90 per cent of the space will be rebooked within weeks.  For a show that doesn’t take place again for another two years’, that is outstanding.”

The training and demonstration sessions are a prominent part of Ocean Business and are what makes the event so unique.  There were back-to-back workshops hosted over the course of the show with many of the sessions bursting with visitors – particularly those that were located in the dockside area.  Visitors also enjoyed trying out products in test tanks and onboard vessels, as well as learning about technologies in training workshops and seminars. 1,640 places were booked on 168 workshops with many sessions standing room only.

With the show being a priority in the industry diary, Ocean Business played host to some key associated industry events.  For the first time the European Commission supported two events organised by Marine Southeast and the European Enterprise Network that both focused on the convergence of defence and commercial applications in the marine environment.  In addition there were a number of high profile meetings such as; a series of presentations designed to develop business opportunities coordinated by The Maritime Alliance; the Hydrographic Society’s AGM and 10 workshops showcasing the world class technologies and facilities of the NOC.

Showing commitment to the future of the industry, Ocean Business once again hosted the Ocean Careers event which aims to highlight the range of opportunities within the ocean technology sector. Always a popular element, 2017 was no exception.

Paige Harrison a student from the University of Liverpool, said: “Ocean Careers is really, really good. I came here because I was unsure about what I’m going to do in the future, whether I’m going to continue with my masters or not and this has helped me clarify what’s actually happening and what I can do in the future.”

Running alongside the exhibition, demonstrations, conference, associated meetings at Ocean Careers, was a schedule of ever popular social events, always a favourite at Ocean Business, providing the perfect platform for colleagues to catch up and do business.

Ocean Business will be returning to the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK from 9th to 11th April 2019 and exhibit sales will be on sale this week.