Seatrade Convention Opens

Nearly a thousand exhibiting companies from 100 countries are gathering in Miami Beach for the 23rd annual Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention March 12-15.

By: Ana Figueroa

Nearly a thousand exhibiting companies from 100 countries are gathering in Miami Beach for the 23rd annual Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention March 12-15. The massive trade show, which occupies three halls of the Miami Beach Convention Center, opens March 13. The largest annual cruise-related trade show in the world, Seatrade features national pavilions including those from the Caribbean, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Other sections of the show highlight cruise destinations, ship services and hotel operations, food and beverage, information technology, design, ship services, hotel operations and ship equipment. For the first time, a Superyacht Pavilion for exhibitors that serve the megayacht industry has been organized. "The exhibition offers cruise line executives a chance to shop for virtually everything it takes to build, staff, manage and operate a cruise ship as well as having every cruise port of call and destination in the world," said Michael Kazakoff, vice president of CMP Princeton Inc., the convention's organizers. "And we are very excited to feature the Superyacht Pavilion, which showcases one of most dynamic segments of the maritime industry."

Responding to increasing cruise industry interest in the Far East, the exhibition is hosting a major Asian presence this year. Among the exhibitors are People's Republic of China, Korea, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The global exhibition and conference is expected to draw more than 10,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibiting companies from over 100 countries. The three-day trade show is open daily Tuesday-Thursday, and the four-day conference features a full day of workshops on Monday, and conference sessions Tuesday-Thursday.

The sessions will feature a lineup of cruise industry experts, from cruise line executives to architects, seaports and destination representatives as well as culinary and deployment consultants.

Panelists bring decades of experience to bear on topics related to on-board revenue, deployment, interior design and food and beverage.

The On-board Revenue Round-table panel will explore the potential for generating new onboard revenue streams and how it will change the on-board experience for future passengers. The Changing Cruise Map panel will discuss new opportunities such as the expansion of the Panama Canal and the growing importance of Asia as a cruise destination. Scheduled participants include the commissioner for tourism for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government; the director of sightseeing and cruise for Singapore’s Tourism Board and the director of marketing and planning for the Panama Canal Authority. The Design Principles session will examine the contemporary design ideas and the interior fittings and fixtures of today’s cruise ships. And a panel entitled What's Cooking: The Culinary Revolution will address the many challenges cruise lines face in food preparation and food service.

Additionally, Robert Jaques, editor for "Seatrade" magazine, will moderate a panel on Fuel Saving and Environmental Issues. And, Tony Peisley, cruise industry analyst and author of "The Future of CruisingBoom or Bust? A Worldwide Analysis to 2015," will moderate a panel entitled Baby Boomers and Beyond.