SMM Interview: Three Questions for Claus Ulrich Selbach
The world is filled with marine exhibitions and conferences. What is special about SMM 2018?
The sheer dimensions of this trade fair are stunning: 93,000 square meters of exhibition floor in 13 halls, and 50,000 expected industry visitors from more than 120 countries make SMM the world's biggest trade fair for the maritime sector. Even more important is the quality of the fair's 2200 exhibitors which cover the entire value chain of the maritime industry. This allows us to claim international technology and innovation leadership once again.
At the exhibition stands, visitors will not only be able to speak personally with major market players but also find hands-on technology, including spectacular, huge exhibition items as well as demonstrations of the latest production processes. Furthermore, at the accompanying subject-specific conferences a total of 70 high-profile international speakers will discuss concerns that are right at the top of the industry's current agenda, ranging from maritime safety, security and environment protection to aspects of ship finance, through to innovative technologies and promising future markets. In just four days, SMM takes its visitors on a journey around the entire maritime globe, saving them weeks or even months of tiresome business trips. That is what makes SMM special.
Having traveled to Hamburg for the SMM personally since 1992, I know it perennially is the global new technology showcase for the marine industry. From the exhibition side, what is new at SMM in 2018?
We have enhanced our proven event concept in various ways this year. We are especially proud of our special exhibit on maritime 3D printing as well as the TradeWinds Shipowner’s Forum, both first-time features at this year's SMM.
We've also refined our hall assignment concept: We traditionally group exhibitors together based on themes. For example, Hall A5 will once again be fully dedicated to Green Propulsion. What is new is that we are making more space available for the rapidly growing cruise market: in addition to Hall B5, half of B8 has been set aside for exhibitors of marine interiors for passenger ships. The new Cruise & Ferry Route directs visitors to exhibitors who serve this segment. This is a great addition to our existing theme routes focusing on Security, Green Shipping, Digitalisation, and Jobs. The Maritime Career Market on the last day of the fair completes the list of innovations – for the first time it will be enhanced by a maritime career forum comprising lectures about maritime job profiles and career advice.
So what are you especially looking forward to?
I'm especially looking forward to the first day of the fair and the joy of watching exhibitors and visitors from around the world flocking to fair at the central entrance. And to the last day of the fair – I hope to see lots of happy exhibitor and visitor faces!