Innovative design trends and top-flight expert panels: MARINE INTERIORS sets new standards for ship interior design, the inaugural trade fair dedicated to this topic – marked by excellent exhibitor and visitor attendance
From furnishings to lighting systems, and from fine materials to kitchen equipment, the MARINE INTERIORS Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM, which premiered from 11 to 13 September, provided a showcase to a wide variety of suppliers of cruise ship interiors. More than 100 exhibitors met up with architects and designers as well as decision-makers from shipyards and shipping companies. “These three days have shown that this new trade fair is received very well by the market. The successful debut of MARINE INTERIORS underlines our leading role as organisers of SMM within the maritime segment,” said Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.
The exhibition instantly proved itself as a platform for this highly specialised segment, impressing participants with its quality and broad coverage: “Finding so much expertise in the field of cruise ship interiors at a single trade fair is unique in Europe. Compared with other trade fairs, MARINE INTERIORS excels in providing a high density of relevant contacts,” said Arjan Koole, Regional Sales Director Germany & Nordics at the kitchen equipment specialist Middleby Marine. The inaugural event attracted 2800 industry visitors to Hamburg’s exhibition complex.
Hamburg – an ideal location
The location of MARINE INTERIORS clearly was an advantage, as well: “Hamburg is an attractive city, and as a cruise hub it is an ideal place for such an event. I believe MARINE INTERIORS will rapidly establish itself in the market,” said David Le Viol, Tender Manager at the Finnish turnkey solutions provider Almaco.
The professionalism of the trade fair preparations received praise, as well. An example is the response from Georgi Karhu, Chief Commercial Officer at Gettone Group: “Since the list of participating companies was available ahead of time, I was able to plan my exhibition participation perfectly and carefully prepare my conversations with existing and potential customers. This made this trade fair experience especially efficient and successful.” Well-attended social formats such as ‘Wine o’clock’ proved to be great opportunities for networking.
Compelling high-profile conference programme
The exhibition was accompanied by panel discussions of international experts who shared views about brand identity and the establishment of new brands. They also talked about the safety regulation challenges faced by designers. Kai Bunge and Stefan Seidenfaden from Partner Ship Design Hamburg gave some fascinating insights into their work on board “Costa Smeralda”. “Costa established the Motto ‘Italy’s Finest’. This prompted us to explore how we could find a contemporary interpretation for traditional Italian elements such as art, fashion and Dolce Vita,” said Seidenfaden.
The experts then discussed the meaning of brand identity for the cruise segment, and how designers can express it. The expert panel was moderated by Tal Danai, CEO of Artlink: “The inaugural MARINE INTERIORS event in Hamburg was a hive of energy. It encouraged and embraced socializing alongside good business encounters in an enriching atmosphere with a taste for more.”
In the second panel, titled “How to design to comply”, David McCarthy, Director of Marine Projects & Communications at AD Associates, examined together with his guests how safety requirements can be integrated into an aesthetic room design concept. His impression: “The MARINE INTERIORS Forum with all its sessions was fantastic, and I was very pleased to have so many competent people to talk to.”
Asia was the focal topic at today’s Chinese Dialogue Sessions. Representatives of Chinese cruise associations spoke about the potential of the Chinese cruise market and unique design requirements for the Chinese audience.
New trade fair closes gap for the industry
The highly positive response the new trade fair received from visitors and exhibitors was aptly summarised by Päivi Mäkinen, Director Sales & After Sales Services at Marahrens Group: “Our expectations have been exceeded by far. The quality of visitors and contacts has been extremely good. Visitor attendance at our stand was excellent. The time was right for the launch of a trade fair like MARINE INTERIORS.”
With this new format, Hamburg Messe und Congress caters to the needs of the booming cruise industry and complements its exhibition portfolio: While in even years SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair offers the industry an expansive platform through its Interiors area and the Cruise & Ferry Route, MARINE INTERIORS now shines the spotlight on interior design in odd years. The next event will be from 8 until 10 September 2021.