The 10 Definitive Reasons to Exhibit at SMM

14 Jul 2022

The maritime industry can drop anchor at a fair share of trade shows and exhibitions the world over. We’re here to discuss an old favourite among maritime professionals in Europe – SMM. The name stands for Shipbuilding, Machinery & Marine Technology, which is everything you need to know about the show in the first place. It’s a place where technology meets the right kind of buyers, but also politics and navies meet with market changes and technological innovations. The show has such a reputation that it’s enjoyed patronage from high-profile politicians like Angela Merkel.

In operation since 1963, SMM unites all maritime sectors under one roof in Hamburg, Germany every two years. In this article, we’ll explore the pillar reasons as to why you should never miss an opportunity to exhibit at SMM.

SMM responds directly to the minute changes in the industry. As a result, it’s a natural barometer for the maritime sector on a much larger scale. Each edition follows a thematic lead, which in 2022 will revolve around digital transformation. “Connected Technologies on the Rise” has been selected as the guiding motto and smart solutions will come to the foreground not just in terms of exhibiting companies, but the support programming as well. The secondary leading theme is the effect of climate change on the maritime sector as well as what needs to be done to meet the high environmental benchmarks required by legislation like the Green New Deal.

The calibre of the event determines the calibre of visitors. SMM is quite fortunate as a platform for business networking due to its popularity the world over. Since it’s based in Europe, the trade show typically links together markets in the region. Think of countries like Germany, Iceland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway. But out of the 29 national pavilions and 27 delegations, representatives from Central, Southeast and Far East Asia have been on the rise. South Korea, India, China and Singapore are the countries that lead this trend overall.

This increase in internationality is the direct result of the high-profile exhibitors and solid support programme. Bansal Marine Bhavnagar, Headway Technology Group (Qingdao), Radio Zeeland DMP Terneuzen, Hefring ehf. Reykjavik and Oilon Oy Lahti are staple brands you’ll encounter at SMM. Together they showcase the highlights of technological innovations. It’s not an exaggeration to designate SMM as a must-see trade show and a chief cross-border purchasing platform. In 2021, more than 381 newbuilds have been ordered – a telltale sign the industry is on an upswing and that SMM presents trade visitors ample opportunities to close deals.

Purchasing is on everybody’s mind. Every four ship owner managers out of ten have reported they are looking to buy new ships. But that’s only the beginning. The product portfolio at SMM remains highly diverse. The exhibition halls are populated by the very best and latest in marine engineering, marine equipment, inland vessels, fuel systems, lifting equipment, shipping companies, shipyard equipment, cargo handling systems, compressed air systems, engines, exhaust, polar technology – you get the idea. Exhibitors take the opportunity to time their production cycles with SMM so that they have a new piece of equipment or solution to showcase.

How does this reputation translate into numbers? What makes SMM a favourable meeting point? Editions perform incredibly well with over 2200 international exhibitors taking part, who enjoyed the attention and networking from some 45,000 trade visitors. This paints a pretty detailed and accurate picture of the maritime industry at large. Exhibitors report high satisfaction rates and are ecstatic about all the targeted sales leads they are making. They leave Messe Hamburg with a lot of orders. The value of attending simply makes all travel and exhibitor costs worth it in the long run.

Of course, we have to highlight the support programme. Trust us when we say you’re spoiled for choice in terms of talks and lectures. The conferences are definitely not to be missed. The one such conference you definitely don’t want to miss in order to maintain a firm grip on industry news is the TradeWinds Shipowners Forum, which investigates topics such as future containers shipping and shipbuilding. The list of conferences also includes the MS&D Conference, gmec, the Maritime Future Summit and Offshore Dialogue.

Traditionally, SMM wraps up its editions with a final day dedicated to the Maritime Career Market. If you’re looking for fresh talent to join your organisation, this is the correct tool to find the ideal candidates. There are quite a lot of opportunities here to receive job offers. Students and pupils are in the right place to research future career paths in the maritime industry. Visitors can even find some further training to level up their skills and knowledge. Personal and professional development is a priority for SMM.

As you can see, SMM commands respect in the industry and contributes a lot of value!