Nor-Shipping preps alternate plans as SMM goes digital

Anyone in marketing can put travel plans on hold for some considerable time as the shipping events calendar – obliterated by Covid-19 in 2020 – looks set to have a long lay-off deep into 2021.

With Covid-19 roaring back across Europe, organisers of SMM, the world’s largest shipping exhibition, yesterday cancelled plans to host their event in rescheduled early February dates.

The Hamburg showcase had earlier switched dates from its traditional September timeframe this year to February.

As with many other events, SMM has taken the decision to go for a digital event in February.

Organisers of Sea Asia, a shipping show in Singapore, have this week announced their intention to switch dates from April next year to September and to make the event a hybrid event, mixing digital with an actual physical presence.

TPM, the world’s largest container shipping event, has already stated its 2021 event, due to start on February 25, will be a virtual one. Many attendees of this year’s TPM were in the air on their way to California when organisers decided to cancel the show at the last moment in February.

In terms of big events still standing in the calendar, the next one is Nor-Shipping, the Oslo maritime showcase scheduled for the first week of June.

Per Martin Tanggaard, the director of Nor-Shipping, told Splash yesterday he was still hoping to go ahead with a physical event next year but he and his team are working on different scenarios.

“Nor-Shipping will evolve in line with local government and international rules and regulations. I would say that the future of Nor-Shipping and events as a whole is hybrid,” Tanggaard said.

Nor-Shipping is considered one of the four main shipping exhibitions in the world along with SMM, Posidonia in Greece, which cancelled this year, and Marintec China in Shanghai. It is this last event, Marintec China, that is the most likely one to carry on with a large physical presence when it takes place in December next year. Large scale exhibitions have resumed across China for a number of months since the worst of the pandemic died down in the world’s most populous nation.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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