High quality Asian Shipping and Work Boat the best so far

High quality Asian Shipping and Work Boat the best so far

Asian Shipping and Work Boat 2009 (ASWB) was a highly effective maritime industry event. Exhibitors and visitors alike were impressed by the quality of this year's show, with Baird Events Chairman Neil Baird commenting favourably on this point.

"We really had the high quality people, the owners, the decision-makers, mingling with our exhibitors and this has always been a selling point for our event, year after year," said Mr Baird.

While the exact final figures are not yet available, there were about 3,000 people in attendance at ASWB, which was held at Singapore's Suntec City from February 24 to 26.

The show, which featured nearly ninety international exhibitors, saw the return this year of many of the well established players in the offshore and shipping industry.

"The fact that it was the sixth event meant that people had become used to a quality event with quality exhibitors and quality visitors," said Mr Baird. "It seems that as the years go on, the quality improves with every ASWB. This time the quality standard jumped quite considerably and it was definitely the best ASWB we've ever had and without any doubt, the highest quality crowd and exhibitors we've ever had.

"I would suggest that it was the highest quality maritime exhibition ever held in Singapore."

Packed opening set scene for successful show

Asian Shipping and Work Boat 2009 was opened by Brigadier General Tay Lim Heng, Chief Executive of the world renowned Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. As with many events held in Singapore, ASWB opened with a traditional and spectacular Chinese lion dance to symbolise prosperity and good luck.

"ASWB was very vibrant. The core of the marine industry that was present. Each day drew in a very large volume of high quality visitors. The hall was teeming with people and energy," said Kishore Navani, Event Manager of ASWB.  "At the end of the show, both visitors and the exhibitors gained much from each other."

"Given that our show was small, it was of a good standard in every aspect," said Shireen Chai, publisher of Baird Publications' renowned magazine, Work Boat World, who attended the event for the first time. "It was very well put together, and of very high quality and standard.

"We even had a cocktail function and free lunch and coffee breaks, which none of the other big maritime trade shows have. Our show was very open, welcoming and inviting," said Ms Chai.

"With some of the larger shows, the bigger they are, the more chaotic they can be. With big shows, it's easy to be distracted and it's easy to forget about the quality. With small shows, you can really focus on quality and service, and that's what we offered."'

Singapore – a global maritime centre

Singapore, of course, is one of the most significant maritime hubs in Asia.

"It was interesting to have considerable press interest from the Singapore trade and financial media," said Mr Baird. "They were interested to see how the industry responded to the gloom and doom surrounding them and many of them were impressed by the enthusiasm of the visitors and the exhibitors.

"The weaker companies have lost orders but the stronger companies still have plenty of orders. The major engine manufacturers and shipbuilders still have major orders up till the end of 2010 and possibly early 2011. Then the orders drop off dramatically.

"Certainly it seems that this is just an adjustment. Once these current orders are delivered, things will quieten down. By late 2010, we expect to see another spate of orders but at a slower, more digestible rate than we've seen the in past two or three years."

Visitors came from over 40 countries including the Middle East, India, USA, Canada, all parts of Europe and Australasia. Many of them attended some of the product presentation seminars that were spread over the first two days of the show.

"Apart from displaying equipment at a stand, many companies use this opportunity to show or launch new products. It was an excellent way of targeting potential clients," Mr Navani continued.

BairdMaritime.com – revamped website a direct response to user input

Also launched at ASWB was the 2.0 version of Baird Online. Now rebranded as BairdMaritime.com, this user friendly new version has taken on board the useful suggestions and comments of loyal Baird readers, and is now better than ever before.

Still featuring favourite functions such as news alerts, news and gear sections and directories, BairdMaritime now has a revamped blogs section for featured columnists.

The future…

Asian Shipping and Work Boat 2011 will be held for the seventh time in Singapore from February 22 to 24, 2011. The next event will incorporate a major international exhibition and a number of significant yet specific maritime product presentation seminars.

"At ASWB 2011, we can expect a much more stable market and probably quite a bit more enthusiasm for purchasing, but within a more rational economic climate. We certainly won't have the boom we had in 2007 or the bust we had in 2009. We'll be more back to the norm we had in 2003," said Mr Baird.

"We already have the layout and the venue and we will be seriously marketing that event from 2010 onwards," added Mr Navani.

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