Singapore government ministers at SEA Asia, from right: Raymond Lim, Jayakumar, Lim Hwee Hua. Photo by Sim Kih

MANY COMPANIES cite participation in trade fairs as an integral part of their marketing efforts, and I was at one of these last week.

Trade fairs are where exhibitors get to meet potential customers and business partners, bankers, trade associations, suppliers, the competition, the latest technology, as well as the governing officials.

At SEA Asia held at Suntec City last Tue-Thu, key executives of leading maritime companies spoke on specialist topics to CEOs, other key executives and professionals from 50 countries. 

More than 350 companies from all over the world were showcased on 4,500 square meters of exhibition space. The organizer, Seatrade, estimated over 8,500 trade visitors.

Drydocks World SEA CEO Denis Welch. Photo by Sim Kih

Obtaining worldwide recognition for market leadership

South East Asia’s largest AHTS builder, Drydocks World – Southeast Asia, for example, had its CEO Denis Welch speak in a closed-door conference on shipbuilding and ship conversion.

He shared insights into what affects a ship owner’s decision on where to send his ships for repair.

Mr Welch was one of 5 panel speakers for the conference.

Besides impressing customers, it was also opportunity to come up close and personal with key industry figures.

Chairing the shipbuilding and repair session was Keppel FELS executive director, Michael Chia, who is also the president of the Association of Singapore Marine Industries.

Ezra’s managing director, Lionel Lee, spoke at a separate session on the development of Asia’s offshore market. Numerous other key industry figures were also present.

A bevy of beauties at Leeden's booth. Photo by Sim Kih

Leeden - conscious of branding

Drydocks World SEA is a leading player in its industry, having generated a billion US dollars in revenues last year, but smaller companies also have innovative means of attracting the crowd.

Leeden may be a tenth the size of the leading Southeast Asian shipyard but its booth drew much more attention in comparison.

Four young and beautiful maidens in immaculate hair do, makeup and sexy Hawaiian dress sashayed around Leeden’s booth while passing visitors gawked.

Leeden must have been expecting to attract more than a few new customers.

After all, the leading Asian integration specialist for top quality welding, gas & safety equipment is riding on the current peak in shipyard activities.

Its customers include major oil and gas companies and contractors, shipbuilding and ship repair yards, oil rig, platform, jacket and floating production storage offloading (FPSO) systems as well as steel and pipeline fabricators from across Asia.

At SEA Asia, booth space is available for about US$13,000, or a few times more if the exhibitor wants booth size to do justice to its scale of business operations.

Exhibition space at Sea Asia 2009 was up 60% compared to its inaugural event two years ago, suggesting rosy demand for MICE players like Kingsmen Creatives and Westminster.

Recent story:
LEEDEN: A galloping profit workhorse

Read other NextInsight reports on trade fairs:
16 Apr 2009  
HENG LONG: 'More enquiries on croc skin'
23 Mar 2009   MAN WAH: Insights into its business at major fair   

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