SMM Digital gets wind in its sails to meet online in February

Maritime tradefair SMM will no longer be held as a hybrid event on Hamburg's exhibition campus in February 2021 as originally planned. Soaring Covid-19 infection numbers in Germany now mean that Hamburg Messe und Congress is instead organising the 29th edition as a purely digital event for the maritime community, SMM Digital – The Maritime Business Hub.

Exhibitors and customers from around the world will be able to discuss maritime challenges online, and join conferences digitally.

In December 2020, WindEnergy Hamburg will become the first digital tradefair launched by organiser Hamburg Messe und Congress, with SMM 2021 following on in February.

“After close consultations with the exhibition committee and government institutions, we have decided to host SMM 2021 as a purely digital event. The progress of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions have rendered it impossible to come up with a reliable plan for a physical tradefair,” said Bernd Aufderheide, president and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

“By making this timely decision in favour of a digital SMM, we provide our exhibitors and visitors with a sound basis for planning while giving them an idea how they will be able to network successfully, 2-5 February 2021, despite the pandemic.

“What is clear right now is that the experiences we are gathering as an event organiser today will have a positive effect on future physical events. By leveraging various digital services we will be able to further increase the international scope of our tradefairs and provide our customers with substantial added value.”

The core component of the new-look digital event will be a newly-developed Maritime Business Hub, a platform enabling international exhibitors to present themselves online and interact with potential customers. A range of digital exhibitor packages will be on offer through the SMM website.

“Of course, after all those months of social distancing we were all looking forward to a physical or hybrid SMM. However, the current development of the pandemic leaves a digital SMM as the only option. I am therefore excited that over the past months we have been able to combine our forces and develop a digital version of SMM 2021 for the maritime community,” said Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

“The platform will remain active until SMM 2022. This means our exhibitors and partners can present themselves continuously until the next physical gathering,” said Selbach.   

“As Covid-19 puts live events on hold, we very much look forward to participating in Digital SMM,” said Sean Fernback, president, Wärtsilä Voyage. “I’m sure the virtual experience will surpass expectations to reach die-hard and new audiences like never before.”

For further information on SMM DIGITAL – The Maritime Business Hub, visit: