If you attend maritime exhibitions, you have probably heard someone mention the DND Barbecue at Nor-shipping as a must attend event. I have personally been there a few times, but this time I was there to promote my own company MARPRO with my partner Martin Strube. It was his first time and I was looking forward to his reaction.
Nor-shipping is the world´s 3rd largest maritime exhibition in close competition with Europort. It is held every second year in first week of June in uneven years. The exhibition was blooming in the period 2000-2007 but the financial crisis has effected this show like all other business. When offshore faced severe problems around 2015 there were signs that Norway was hit hard. This year´s Nor-shipping proved that the country´s maritime and offshore business is in the middle of a transition period.
At the exhibition, someone told me that before the oil came, Norway was the poorest country in Scandinavia – I don´t know if it is true, but the fact now is that the country is so rich that the prices for e.g. hotels and restaurants are – even for a Dane – in a crazy level.
Since the black gold decreased in price and sustainable energy is on the top agenda for all developed countries, Norway will have to adapt to this. I have no doubt that they will, they have a lot of seed money, they are innovative and agile and somehow green energy just feels right in a country where the air is fresh and the water is clean.
One sign that they are on the right track is all the electrical cars in the streets, they were early with introducing favorable conditions for electrical cars e.g. no tax, free parking, use bus and taxa lanes etc.
The exhibition Norshipping is held in Norges Varemesse, a large good quality venue – quite far away from literally everything. The first day, it is tradition that DNV host the large barbecue for a selected group of people (and the one who pays for their own tickets) in the headquarter by the sea. Ooops, DVN/GL I should say, because out of the blue, DNV took over Germanischer Lloyd some time ago – once again a prove on the economic power the Norwegians possess.
Nor-shipping is extremely well organized so you could take a special bus to DNV/GL but a selected group of people was invited onboard the innovative hybrid ferry Vision of the Seas. This ferry did not only transported people to the event, is stayed in the water in front of the event and was turning slowly allowing us all to admire the sleak lines and the innovative design – plus of course the totally silent engine.
When arriving at this impressive mansion, we were greeted with a welcome drink and then welcomed by a traditional sailor choir – created just the right maritime atmosphere. Then we came to a large grass area with a lot of tents – all serving different foods and beverages. A nice coffee truck in the middle – and the most amazing desert tent I have ever seen in my life.
Then there is only three thing on the agenda. Eat, Drink and Network.
The event did not fail. At the first table I bumped into an old business relation and we had a good talk – resulting in contact after arriving in home – and eventually an order.
The event is not a place to meet new people, it would be awkward to perform cold canvas sale here, the purpose with this event is to catch up with old business relations in a socially attractive environment. Despite the presence of people from all over the world, the event is still quite dominated by Norwegians which is quite natural. But one could feel a bit left outside if arriving alone. The event is great – but could be improved with activities that could bring people who don´t know each other together. My advise would be, if you are in Norway at Nor-shipping – and you have not attended this event before, you need to try this once in your life. The price tag is around 200 EUR – and in Norway, you hardly get a pizza and a coke for that, so the money is well spent!
Enjoy the pictures above – you can swipe them – and the video below.
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