One of Europe's biggest business-to-business showcases for the marine technology industry opens at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton at the end of March. And the sell-out exhibition is bucking the downwards trend in other sectors by doubling its number of exhibitors.
Ocean Business 2009 will bring 275 companies to Southampton for the three-day event that is a showcase for suppliers and service providers, but also offers training and demonstration sessions, a parallel offshore survey conference and a new careers and recruitment event, Ocean Careers.
Ocean Business gives attendees the opportunity to "test-drive" products and systems - including underwater vehicles and sonar and imaging equipment - with more than 180 hours of training and demonstration workshops.
Ocean Careers will underline the fact that a range of transferrable skills and qualifications in engineering, science or mathematics can be used in the large and diverse marine sector, which is currently experiencing a skills shortage. The range of opportunities encompasses the mineral and hydrocarbon extraction, telecoms and defence industries, as well as leading-edge technology development and attendees will meet leading industry figures face-to-face.
Offshore Survey 09 is a specialist conference that is held alongside Ocean Business focusing on technical and business issues in the global field of offshore surveying.
Ocean Business 2009 also has a very active social and networking element with a wine trail and a gala dinner.
In 2007, the inaugural Ocean Business was described by one exhibitor, Roger Scrivens, Director of RS Aqua, as "probably the best exhibition pound for pound in return I've ever experienced at a trade show".
The event is organised by Intelligent Exhibitions in partnership with the Association for Marine Scientific Industries and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. It is supported by a range of professional and industrial organisations.
Further information and registration details are available on the event's website: http://www.oceanbusiness.com