Scenes from the 2014 Cruise Shipping Miami conference and exhibition. Photos: Manish Shah, ticker.com
By Vikki Lorah
Contributing Editor, Ticker.com
MIAMI, USA -- The 2014 Cruise Shipping Miami conference and exhibition that ran from Monday, March 10 through Thursday, March 13, at the Miami Beach Convention Center posted record attendance and the largest exhibition in the event's 30-year history.
The annual gathering had nearly 12,000 total registrations, a 10 percent increase over the 2013 show. The trade show, which was 10 percent larger than last year, featured 142 new exhibitors for a total of just less than 900 exhibiting companies from 127 countries. UBM reports that 40 percent of this year’s exhibitors have already booked space in the 2015 event, scheduled for March 16-19.
"The ongoing evolution of CSM and the changes we made each year come directly from the feedback we receive from all stakeholders in the cruise industry," said Daniel Read, director of UBM's Cruise Event Portfolio. "The tightly focused conference sessions, the introduction of more flagship sessions with the regional 'State of the Cruise Industry' panels and Cruise Trends Theater all contributed to the show's high energy level and record participation."
Cruise Shipping Miami 2014 drew cruise executive delegates representing 70 cruise lines as well as delegates and visitors who comprise the industry's top movers and shakers. Reporting on the event were 350 journalists from 15 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Setting the tone for the four-day event was the all-new "State of the Global Cruise Industry" session March 11 featuring Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc; Richard Fain, chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd; Kevin Sheehan, CEO and president of Norwegian Cruise Line; and Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises.
In addition to its new name and format, the opening panel had BBC's Katty Kay, anchor of "BBC World News America," as the event's first moderator from outside the cruise industry.
New for 2014 were three regional "State of the Cruise Industry" panels led by cruise line chief executives addressing trends and developments in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Panelists discussed a wide range of industry trends and developments during the course of the four-day conference. Emerging themes included a focus on attracting Millennials to cruising, rapid expansion of the Asia-Pacific market, growth of river and expedition cruising, and the significant investments seaports are making to attract and keep cruise line business.
The exhibition, which covered all four halls of the Miami Beach Convention Center, included the world's largest shipbuilders, 410 cruise destinations, cutting-edge information technology providers, ship equipment suppliers and entertainment companies. New this year was an interactive food and beverage pavilion focusing on the latest in shipboard culinary trends, products and equipment. Other industry sectors included ship design and refurbishment, ship services and hotel operations.
The New for 2014 Cruise Trends Theater enabled suppliers to the industry to make presentations to their audiences from a purpose-built platform on the trade show floor.
Cruise Shipping Miami is the global flagship of UBM's cruise events portfolio, which includes the annual Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific and the biennial Seatrade Med Cruise Convention.