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Trade fairs postponed due to COVID-19

Photo courtesy of SMM Hamburg.

At the start of 2020, the shipbuilding industry seemed healthier than it had in years and the outlook was positive. But then the coviD-19 pandemic hit. The world screeched to a halt. Shipbuilding companies and suppliers around the world had to adapt their working schedules and practices in line with the restrictions put in place by their government.

Whilst many activities can be performed remotely or from home, the same cannot be said for trade fairs. The many events scheduled for the first nine months of 2020 have had to either change their dates or cancel their 2020 editions altogether. International shipping exhibition Posidonia was originally scheduled for the start of June, but organisers have postponed the event to 26-30 October 2020 at the Athens Metropolitan Expo, together with all related Posidonia sports events and conferences. In a statement, organisers explained that the decision was made because of “the  uncertainty currently surrounding our original dates, the international character of Posidonia, and the pressure our exhibitors and visitors are under in actioning now their travel and logistical arrangements as well as the shipment of their exhibits.”

SMM Hamburg
International maritime trade fair SMM has been postponed to 2-5 February 2021 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and its global impact on major events and international travelling. The event was originally scheduled for 8-11 September 2020, but has now been moved to 2021.
“The continued highly dynamic development of COVID-19 and the resulting ban on major events have left us no other choice but to postpone SMM to next year. Finding a suitable new timeframe for SMM was not an easy task for us, and we are happy we have been able to do so,” said Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress.

Following intense consultations with the exhibitor advisory board, Hamburg Messe und Congress and its partners and other exhibitor representatives have agreed on the new dates. This means SMM will be the new year’s first international gathering of the maritime industry.
“We will offer the global maritime community an extraordinary, more compact SMM in February 2021. Together we will overcome this crisis and host an SMM that will live up to its own, high standards. We are looking forward to welcoming everybody back,” said Mr Aufderheide.

Bigger and better next year
Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo in Amsterdam initially announced it would be postponing its event from June to the last weekend of October. organisers only afterwards realised that they had inadvertently picked the same weekend as Posidonia. “Neither our Greek friends nor us could have possibly known that we had chosen the same alternative dates within hours of each other”, stated Managing Director Graham Johnson. “Event Directors Oliver Taylor, Michael Blackhurst, and I have since spent a great deal of time deciding what is the best solution, not just for Electric & Hybrid Marine World Expo, but for the industry as a whole. We are aware that thanks to COVID-19 and the rescheduling of shows, the industry now faces the prospect of attending almost a year’s worth of shows in just three months between September and the end of November.” As a result, the organisers decided to cancel this year’s event, but promised it would return “on 22-24 June next year, bigger and better than ever”.

Rescheduled or cancelled
Seawork International and the Marine and Coastal Civil Engineering Expo (M&CCE Expo),  due to be held from 9-11 June, have also been postponed. At this time, no new dates have been announced. Both the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium 2020 and Europort Romania have been cancelled for 2020. The symposium will return next year from 22-24 June 2021, while Europort Romania has been rescheduled for 18-20 May 2021.