Despite Coronavirus, Cruise Industry's Biggest Trade Show is Still On

Image courtesy Seatrade

Published Mar 6, 2020 11:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

In a display of confidence at a critical time for the cruise industry, the organizers of the Seatrade Cruise Global trade show plan to carry on with the event as scheduled, despite the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

According to a recent tally published by the Wall Street Journal, at least 440 conferences, trade shows and festivals have been canceled worldwide due to the Covid-19 epidemic. But Seatrade's organizers say that after consulting with industry members, exhibitors and state and local officials, they firmly believe that the right step is to move forward as planned. In part, the event serves as a signal that the industry intends to overcome this challenge. 

“As we continue to prioritize health and safety above all, there has never been a more critical time for the cruise industry to come together to demonstrate its resilience in the face of adversity and to chart the course for our future. We look forward to doing just that at Seatrade Cruise Global," said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

"We have spoken with many of our partner associations, exhibitors, and cruise lines and the overwhelming feeling is of support and that the event should, if it’s able to, go ahead at this crucial time for the industry," said Chiara Giorgi, the global event and brand director at Seatrade Cruise Events. "We believe that this event remains the opportunity for the global cruising community to meet as one and work through challenges and this becomes even more relevant in times of concern."

Working with the Miami Beach Convention Center, Seatrade plans to take extra measures on site. Extra hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed in high-traffic areas, and the frequency of cleaning for touch surfaces will be increased. Extra hygiene advisory signage will be added throughout the venue, including all restrooms. 

If registration is any guide, this year's event will be busy. To date, there are over 70 cruise lines signed up for Seatrade with an expected 13,000-plus attendees on-site. New show features this year include more programming for designers, a lunch for entertainment professionals, a wellness area and a matchmaking lounge. The conference will include over 180 speakers, with tracks focusing on expedition cruising, design, hotel operations and concessions, entertainment, information technology and more.