Record-breaking Ocean Business hailed as 'best ever'

14 April 2011

On 5-7th April 2011 the third Ocean Business, organised by Intelligent Exhibitions in partnership with the Association of Marine Scientific Industries, was hosted by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in the UK.  Records were broken for the third time in a row as the event grew not only in terms of the number of exhibiting companies, visitors and vessels present but also in physical size. For the first time a new dockside pavilion was erected to accommodate the overwhelming demand for exhibit space at the show that has quickly become the ocean technology trade event to be at.

The event saw off all the challenges that the great British weather threw at it, with fleece jackets and hot drinks distributed to cold exhibitors on the first day and ice-lollies handed out in the heat of the final day. A look at the 'LinkedIn' pages for Ocean Business, and those people involved, shows many positive messages of congratulation for a successful show with some of them hailing the 2011 event as the best show ever.  Director of Intelligent Exhibitions, Versha Carter commented "We are delighted with the feedback from this 2011 event.  Ocean Business is no longer in its infancy, it is firmly established as a must attend event."  David Hitchcock, Managing Director of Coastline Surveys said "An event that has undoubtedly been our most successful show ever! The marine science and business community is stronger following these efforts."

Over 4000m2 of temporary structures were erected to host 311 exhibiting companies from 24 countries.  This year's event saw 3176 people through the door from 52 countries.  It is the unique nature of Ocean Business that encourages visitors to attend in vast numbers, and make multiple visits over the three days. 

The action was not limited to the exhibit halls. Attendees took full advantage of the unique facilities available with over 170 hours of hands-on demonstration opportunities offered both dockside and at sea. Nine vessels were moored alongside - the largest number ever to take part at the event. The newly refurbished test tank was kept busy with everything from an ROV to a diver demonstrating inside the impressive enclosure. With a view of Empress Dock out to the Solent, the bustling dockside demos were a constant hit with attendees, eager to see and learn about new equipment and test drive it in situ. The seven classrooms were fully utilised all week and provided an academic setting in which to debate and discuss new technology. 

The concurrent Offshore Survey conference, on days two and three, addressed a number of pertinent topics, with a focus on the technical and business issues in the global field of Offshore Surveying. Sessions were full to bursting with over 82 delegates from 16 countries eager to hear the likes of John Westwood from Douglas-Westwood who spoke about the prospects for the global ocean industry business.

Ocean Careers also made a welcome return, giving students an opportunity to listen to presentations and engage in one-to-one meetings with individuals working within the ocean science, technology and offshore industries.

The show was complemented by an action-packed social programme with an event held every evening. On the eve of the opening morning, exhibitors and visitors met for welcome drinks in Ocean Village. There was a hint of the type of week to come when the venue became so packed their waiting staff literally could not move around to distribute drinks and appetisers!  The popular wine trail returned with a vengeance the following night. Wednesday evening saw the action move to the Guildhall, the impressive new home for the Sonardyne-sponsored Gala Dinner. Once inside the historic local building over 450 industry colleagues were were wined and dined in the elegant surroundings, serenaded by the sultry sounds of The Vernon Sisters, the spectacular all female operatic quartet 'Passionata' and the highly entertaining and crowd pleasing 'Tenors Unlimited'. Demonstrating their legendary stamina, dozens of industry friends then moved on to the nearby hotels where the revelry continued through the night. 

Ocean Business was best summed up by Charlie Foll, Managing Director of Atlantas Marine "Ocean Business felt more than like a reunion than a straight forward commercial exhibition but was equally great for business."

A Ocean Business photo gallerry can be found at


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