Marine Link
Friday, October 28, 2016

Work Boats Exchange: Stage Set for Top Owners, Suppliers

March 20, 2012

Commercial fleet owners and marine suppliers are preparing for the industry’s first Work Boats Exchange, a hosted buyer event to be held April 9-12 at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale.

The first-of-its-kind event is not a traditional trade show, but rather a high-level, working business meeting, matching commercial fleet owners with senior-level suppliers, who are seeking to help them operate their businesses more efficiently, according to Robert Ingraham, Chief Executive Officer of Global Exchange Events, organizers of the event.

The Exchange will enable fleet owners to sit down across the table in pre-arranged meetings with leading marine suppliers for 20 minutes at a time. During the two-and-a-half day event, fleet owners can schedule as many as 24 meetings with pre-qualified marine suppliers. Global Exchange Events is seeking to achieve a one-to-one ratio among owners of marine fleets and marine suppliers.

The goal is to match up marine suppliers face-to-face with up to 50 fleet owners in the tug, tow, OSV, PSV, fast ferry, shipping, salvage, oil and gas, and dredging industries.

Ingraham said he views the event as the “perfect complement” to trade shows.

“After participants have had a chance to really see what’s out there at the shows,” said Ingraham, “our events offer a second round of very focused one-on-one meetings between fleet owners and marine suppliers who are ready to discuss new business development and to close deals.”

In creating Work Boats Exchange (, Ingraham wants to give fleet owners and marine suppliers the “most direct, personal and cost-effective way to connect, network and develop long-lasting business relationships,” he said.  

“We wanted to take the headache out of the trade show and meetings approach and to create opportunities for people to network and to meet and to follow up over lunch, cocktails or dinner,” said Ingraham. “So far, we are extremely pleased with the response and registration numbers for this event.”

Ingraham recommended that participants in the event bring a second person with them.

“It will be smart to bring two people, because there will be many opportunities to meet with other parties and to follow up on the meetings,” he said.

Participants will also have an opportunity to listen in on presentations on ballast water issues by Dr. Mario Tamburri,  a Research Professor at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and Director of the Maritime Environmental Resource Center; and Jon Stewart, President of International Maritime Technology Consultants Inc (IMTCI). Dr. Tamburri is now also the Steering Committee Chair for the Global Ballast Water Test Organizations Network. In 2006, IMTCI formed a coalition of U.S.-based developers of Ballast Water Management systems and represents their interests on the international policy front.

If you are a fleet owner and wish to attend the event, contact Karen Kelly at


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