Aqua Nor – Successful launch and restart of the leading global aquaculture event as a hybrid event
Aqua Nor is among the leading events for the global aquaculture sector. It is one of the largest events held face to face every 2 years at Trondheim, Norway. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 edition of the event was in hybrid form – a physical exhibition complemented by a digital platform. This led to the event exceeding many expectations. The event took place between the 24th and 27th of August 2021 with the pre-opening day taking place on the 23rd of August.
The pre-opening day featured the Conference: More food from the ocean - Blue is the new Green. The conference allowed attendees to meet visitors from the various industries, the FAO, the EU, as well as national authorities and academia members. The sessions featured speakers from the industries and academia presenting the latest innovations and research related to exposed and land-based aquaculture, feed resources and nutrition, food processing and engineering as well as enabling aquaculture technology.
As with previous years, Aqua Nor commenced with a Press briefing at Tronheim Spektrum's Press Centre. The Briefing took place an hour before the grand opening. Due to the pandemic, the usual exhibition tour given by VIPs did not take place. The grand opening included speeches by several leading figures including 2 Ministers of Fisheries and the city’s mayor. After the speeches, the presenting of the three Innovation Award nominees took place with SeaRAS receiving the title. The grand opening and subsequent events were broadcasted on the Aqua Nor Live and the Science & Research channels. Broadcasts included guided debates and others. The Science & Research channel also featured an interesting hot topic - the intersection of biology and technology in the future. Concluding the first day was the social highlight known as the Gala Evening. The event took place at the Clarion Hotel Trondheim.
Opening the second day was the Breakfast seminar about export financing. At the seminar, Eksfin provided information about the latest financing solutions. One of the highlights of the day was the presenting of the winners of the Norwegian Seafood Championship. The announcements took place in digital format. The day also featured a diverse assortment of panel discussions, research presentations and product showcases. Completing was the event the Night Fish – all night at Thon Hotel. The event was among the leading after-show networking events featured in the 2021 edition of Aqua Nor. At the event, host Arne Hjeltnes guided attendees through a premier menu of first-class local ingredients.
The third day of the fair commenced with the hosting of the Bluegrove presentations and featured several highlights of interest. Among them was the "Preview of NS 9415 for floating aquaculture" - the new standard for floating aquaculture installations. Another highlight was presenting the Best Stand Award winners. One of the new events of interest at the fair was the christening of the AQS "Tor", a brand-new service boat that survived the destruction of the cargo ship carrying it. The baptism was available for all attendees and was broadcasted on the digital platform.
The final day of Aqua Nor 2021 featured the Student Day. The Student Day included inspiring speeches and lectures about the various careers available in the aquaculture sector. After the lectures students can meet representatives of different companies at their booths. At 3 pm, Aqua Nor 2021 was officially announced as a successful hybrid event following a brief recap. It is during this recap that it was revealed that a total of 16652 visitors attended the fair. The digital platform also showed a total of 8232 people had logged into it and 9150 had followed the live streams. Around 100 lectures were broadcasted on the platform which will remain open to all attendants until August the 1st 2022. The organisers of the event confirm that Aqua For will take place in 2023. They also confirm their satisfaction with the success of the event and mention that the digital part will remain be a permanent addition to all future editions and receive further developments.