I have just updated my shipping conferences and exhibitions calendar, and depending on your role in the industry, I propose two possible schedules.
The Shipping Marketing Executive:
The proposed conference schedule includes attending commodities conferences as well as purely shipping conferences.
1) Tuesday 6 September to Friday 9 September, Hamburg – SMM exhibition. At least one day is needed to go around the halls, preferably two, and the rest of the time attending conferences and meeting clients in Hamburg.
2) Monday 12 September to Wednesday 14 September, Miami – Kingman Sugar Conference. It’s amazing how few Shipping Executives actually attend the commodity conference of the cargo the company ships are carrying. Sugar is one of the most lucrative and highest value bulk trades, and it is worthwhile cultivating a few contacts.
3) Wednesday 21 September, New York – Tradewinds Shipowners Forum. A chance to check out what bankers are thinking when it comes to providing finance.
4) Thursday 29 September to Friday 30 September, Tokyo – Coaltrans. Another commodity conference, and a chance to find out just how poorly the Japanese shipping companies are faring. Will they be bailed out by the government?
5) Tuesday 11 October to Wednesday 12 October, Athens – Marine Money Greek Ship Finance. Every one can learn something from speaking to Greek shipowners.
6) Tuesday 25 October to Thursday 27 October, Copenhagen – Danish Maritime Fair. A new event on the calendar. Like Ireland, Denmark is pushing itself as a maritime hub, offering subsidies and other incentives. Could Copenhagen be the next “Singapore”?
7) Wednesday 2 November, South Korea – Mare Forum. South Korean shipping is going through another massive upheaval, driven by all the bankruptcies taking place. Will South Korean charterers behave honourably?
8) Tuesday 8 November, China – Mare Forum. The latest Five Year Plan (No 13, if you are counting) emphasis streamlining state-owned companies. Mergers among Chinese state-owned companies are already taking place, and this conference would be a good place to ask the question – what does the latest Five Year Plan mean for shipping?
9) Tuesday 15 November, Thailand – World Rice Trades. A notoriously difficult trade to enter, but very lucrative if you have the right contacts. Not making shipping people make the effort to attend this or the Coaltrans conference, which could give you a clear run at the cargo owners.
10) Thursday 17 November to Friday 18 November, Manila – Coaltrans. The coal trade from the near Far East to India has been supporting bulker trades in the near East. How long will imports to India last?
The Ship Finance Banker:
Back in the day, a shipping finance conference meant only one thing; the Lloyd’s Shipping Economist Ship Finance conference at the Hyatt. Informa led the market in shipping finance conferences, but those days are long gone, and Informa does not appear to have a ship finance conference listed for this Autumn. However, there are plenty of alternatives.
1) Tuesday 27 September, Monaco, – Superyachts Marine Money.
2) Thursday 29 September, Monaco – Superyachts Mare Forum. There is still plenty of ship owners and two Superyachts conferences in one week in the same location is too good an opportunity to pass up.
3) Tuesday 10 October to Wednesday 11 October, Greece – Marine Money.
4) Tuesday 18 October, Monaco – Mare Forum. Back to Monaco.
5) Thursday 27 October, Rotterdam – Mare Forum. The Dutch banks have been quietly lending to select clients. Find out how they do it.
6) Wednesday 9 November, New York – Marine Money. A mid-week conference in New York gives plenty of opportunity to meet clients throughout the week.
7) Tuesday 15 November, London – Riviera Tanker Trade & Outlook. Not a shipping finance conference per se, but tankers have, until recently, been on of the few bright spots in the industry.