What does a week in Connecticut say about the future of maritime?
The OrbitMI team was delighted to attend this year’s Connecticut Maritime Association event in Stamford, CT “Live and In Person.” The event was very well attended by all segments of the maritime industry. OrbitMI was able to have in depth meetings with customers and partners ranging from vessel owners, vessel managers, engine and part manufacturers, as well as software and technology providers. We wanted to share our thoughts and takeaways with you here.
The expo, the lobby, and the panel rooms were bustling with activity all three days of the CMA Shipping event (#CMAShipping). While chatting with our partner DTN, I inquired about his feelings on the event this year. DTN responded, “You can feel a real difference in the vibe. Everyone is really excited to be here.” This is not only great news for a conference on this type, but also a positive indicator that people are there to do real business. This event was no “grip and grin.” Everyone there was looking to have substantive meetings, engage with partners, and develop new relationships.
This energy was reflected in the success of OrbitMI’s plan for the week. We had high hopes for meeting with customers and partners at the exhibition hall, but also at the “Happy Hour Event” we hosted at a local establishment: Third Place at Half Full Brewing. Our friends at Sedna, Navig8, Freightflows, Lloyds List, Vesseltracker, DTN, Marine Money, K4 Mobility, and Nautilus Labs joined us to make the night a smashing success. We shared a pint and laugh on Wednesday evening before heading into the last day of the conference.
On Thursday we were able to take a breath to reflect.
There is a notable difference from years past. Not just the return to in person events, but also the shift in representation of technology, software, and data providers. Among the exhibitors and sponsors, just under half of them were in the data/software provider side of the business. This is a huge leap forward from 5 or 6 years ago. The industry has long understood that data is vital to both vessel and business operations, but this was clear sign the innovation era of shipping has come.
This new wave of tech and data providers not only signals that industry has embraced innovation, but that we have moved beyond necessity driving invention. Smart creative people are looking far down the road at the next challenges we can solve. We at OrbitMI are happy to be part of that wave and look forward to the exciting times ahead.
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