The global commercial marine industry descended on Southampton last week for the annual trade exhibition – Seawork International. Much like Southampton Boat Show, Mayflower Park is transformed. Decked out with some huge marquees and a marina where exhibitors show off their latest technology, boats or services. You can find giant crank shafts, propellers the size of a garden shed, work boats and military vessels, a huge rising platform, RIB’s and accessories and of course lots of marine services such as shipping.
We have been exhibiting at Seawork for many years and it is one of our favourites not only because of it's extremely convenient location but mostly due to the amount of serious business that gets done. We return to the office with a book full of quotations to work on having met a huge variety of maritime business representatives.
This year our sales director Mike Austin also featured on a panel at the Coastlink Conference which ran simultaneously with Seawork. The panel discussed short sea shipping, Chinese influences and the rail link from Asia to Europe which made for an interesting and varied debate.
Don’t worry though it’s not all hard work and pitching after all, we all deserve some light relief, so for the second year running we entered the Cardboard Boat Race. Exhibitors were invited to build their own vessels out of cardboard and duct tape and as you can imagine there was an interesting selection of boats and rafts. The most important part is staying afloat obviously because no one wants to end up in Southampton Water but speed is also vital if you want to get a podium finish. We were happy to make it the finish line, obviously a win would have been nice, but it was all about the participation, I believe that’s our official line!
It’s always a bit of an anti-climax returning to the office after 3 days of meeting new people and talking incessantly but this is where the real work gets done so watch this space!