The 2013 ICOMIA/IFBSO Congress was held in London, United Kingdom from June 11-14, 2013 and was hosted and organized by the British Marine Federation (BMF) at Devonport House, located in London’s exclusive Royal Greenwich, a World Heritage Site.
The first two days of Congress consisted of various committee meetings including the first gathering of ICOMIA’s new committees: "Grow Boating," which examines current campaigns dedicated to growing recreational boating globally and the "Exporters Committee," which provides members a forum to share knowledge on export markets, discuss import regulations and exchange information on overseas boat/trade show experiences.
The annual ICOMIA/IFBSO Joint Session was held on Thursday morning; key-note speakers included: Mark Pragnell, Head of Commissioned Projects at Capital Economics, who discussed the world economic situation and future prospects; David Pegler, CEO at Excel London who spoke about London and the development of a major international exhibition center; Alex Mills of 5 West who provided insight into event sponsorship and Helena Gao, of the China Boat Show, who talked about trends in Chinese consumer activity.
Continuing the focus on emerging markets, ICOMIA’s afternoon Session featured ICOMIA members the China Boat Industry and Trade Association (CBITA) and the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association (CCYIA) who made presentations on the Chinese market, whilst ICOMIA sustaining member, Hainan New Century Cultural Industry Investment and Development Co., Ltd. gave an update on the ICOMIA supported International Boat Show and Festival which takes place between October 17-20, 2013 in Serenity Marina, Sanya, Hainan, China.
The Session concluded with an invaluable Q&A where delegates had the opportunity to discuss issues with the Chinese speaker panel.
The last day of Congress began with the ICOMIA Working Session; speakers included: Andy Claughton from the Wolfson Unit at Southampton University who spoke on advanced design technology; Josh Hall, Race Director of the Global Ocean Race; Peter Joyce, from the Marine Industries Alliance Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and Mike Cook, BMF President, talked about the UK’s Marine Industries Leadership Council; Jorge Nasseh, Vice President of ICOMIA member the Brazilian Marine Manufacturers Association, ACOBAR, gave an in-depth presentation on the Brazilian marine industry; and Darren Vaux, Chairman of ICOMIA member the Boating Industries Alliance Australia (BIAA) who presented the ‘I Boat - I Vote’ initiative, which has been developed to raise the political profile of the recreational marine industry in Australia.
The final meeting of Congress 2013 was the 47th ICOMIA Annual General Meeting where the Executive Committee, the management board of ICOMIA, announced changes to the Committee; bidding farewell to Vice President Romano Piculjan (Croatian CBIA) and Takashi Kajikawa (JBIA Japan) and welcoming Simon Cook (Australian BIAA), Philip Scott (Polish POLBOAT), Jorge Nasseh (Brazilian ACOBAR) and Erlend Prytz (Norwegian Norboat) as new members of the Committee. Whilst Claus-Ehlert Meyer, MD of the German Boat and Shipbuilders Association, DBSV, was elected as Vice President of ICOMIA.
Congress concluded with a fascinating tour of the Palace of Westminster - the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords - the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, followed by the annual ICOMIA/IFBSO Congress Gala Dinner, hosted by Mr. Jim Fitzpatrick MP, held in the hall of the House of Commons.
Next year’s ICOMIA Congress will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, hosted by DENTUR, the Turkish Marine Industry Association.