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The exhibitor experience – Perfect partnership

NME operates as the vital link between its members and the global maritime market, promoting Norwegian companies to international customers through a carefully tailored programme of exhibitions, networking and knowledge sharing events. Nor-Shipping is, according to CEO Erlend Prytz, a cornerstone of the team’s activity.
And, what’s more, it always has been.

Erlend Prytz, CEO, Norwegian Maritime Exporters (NME). Photo credit Alexander Thorsen

“We started in 1995, a Nor-Shipping year, and quickly built our membership,” he explains. “In fact, even at Nor-Shipping 1995 we managed to arrange a national pavilion with some 85 companies. You could say we got off to a flying start!”

He continues: “Nor-Shipping is our ‘home turf’ and our pavilion has grown steadily, especially since 2015. The Team Norway pavilion at Nor-Shipping is now the biggest we organize, both in terms of number of square meters and number of participants.”

Added value exhibition

But it’s not just a numbers game, he says, it’s value that matters most to NME and its members.
“Nor-Shipping is of great importance to the industry, and has been for over 50 years,” Prytz states. “There are visitors from all facets of the business and from all over the world – including key political figures – and the seminars and conferences really complement the trade show itself.
“And, perhaps most importantly of all, our members report that they really ‘do business’ on the exhibition floor. That, obviously, is the sign of a truly successful trade show.”

The NME Explorers Lounge. Photo credit Alexander Thorsen.

2019 was a particularly strong outing, recalls the NME boss, due to both the new, broader ocean space perspective at Nor-Shipping (“a wise strategy” he remarks) and NME’s move to revamp its own pavilion. This centred around a fresh lounge concept – the Explorers Lounge, celebrating Norwegian explorers such as Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen, Anne Stine and Helge Ingstad, and Thor Heyerdahl – focusing on exquisite food, Norwegian
designed furniture and lamps, and the creation of an ideal atmosphere for conducting business.

The Ship of the Year Award 2019 was handed out to Color Hybrid at the Norwegian Pavilion. Gustav Erik Blaalid, Skipsrevyen, Anders Straumsheim, Fosen Yards AS, HRH Crown Prince Haakon, Trond Kleivdal, Color Line AS, Gunvor Ulstein, Ulstein Verft AS og Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister of Climate and Environment. Photo Nor-Shipping.

“The feedback we received was overwhelming,” Prytz smiles. “Around 90% of our respondents want to participate at the Team Norway pavilion at Nor-Shipping 2021. The three meeting rooms we offered our exhibitors were full all the time. We’re hoping for a repeat of that in 2021.”

Growing demand

Although the industry, and indeed the world, is facing severe challenges at present, the NME team is hoping that the situation will have been long-resolved by the next Nor-Shipping, allowing members to get back to focusing on showcasing their unique competency, innovations and the value they can offer global customers.

An ideal atmosphere for networking and conducting business. Photo credit Alexander Thorsen.

“Pre-coronavirus the industry was performing better after some challenging years,” Prytz concludes, “and we hope to get back to that as soon as possible. By Nor-Shipping 2021 we expect to be full steam ahead and the response we’ve received from our members is already very positive.

“We’ve never had such demand for space this early pre-Nor-Shipping, so we think that the 2021 Team Norway pavilion will be even larger than in 2019. Now, that’s something we can really look forward to!”

The perfect partnership looks set to continue. Here’s to the next 25 years!

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