Calling all innovative boatbuilders

Calling all innovative boatbuilders

If you’re in the boatbuilding business and don’t think your vessel is the most innovative in your part of the market, then you’re probably in the wrong game.

In my capacity as Chairman of the Judging panel for the European Commercial Marine Industry Awards at Seawork International 2017, I was struck by equipment entered and the quality and vast range that it encompassed.

The Ravestein Syklift was certainly imposing
and clearly innovative at Seawork 2017, but
its builders didn't enter it for the ECMAs
BUT, I must confess my only disappointment with the entries, and it was a disappointment shared by the other panel members, was a limited number of vessels for us to evaluate for these awards. 

A stroll along the pontoons at the show demonstrated straight away though that there is no lack of innovative vessels, or vessels with clearly amazing and innovative aspects to them, so we’ve obviously not done our job correctly in telling boatbuilders about this award. Or at least we’ve not made you excited enough about it to enter.

This is a genuine, well-respected industry award. But we live in a world where we all get bombarded with emails about awards these days. We’ve all felt the temporary excitement when they tell us we’ve been shortlisted- then felt the deflation when we read the bit about just having to pay an entry fee or attend a high ticket price, (usually “glittering”) awards bash. Awards you have to pay for are usually awards not worth having.

THE ECMAs are different. If you are a Seawork exhibitor it’s FREE to enter and if you have a vessel or product shortlisted we even give you a FREE ticket to the awards evening too. Extra tickets are available for support staff at a reasonable price to cover the cost of the venue, drinks, and nibbles, so an ECMA is an award that is given on merit- not because you bought a bunch of over inflated tickets for an awards ceremony. To further reinforce this, you can even enter the ECMAs without being a Seawork exhibitor, although there is a charge for this.

Shortlisted companies get FREE inclusion in the large, prominently located Innovations Showcase stand- so it’s an additional touch point for your potential customers.

So if you are a boatbuilder exhibiting at Seawork 2018, know or even know of a boatbuilder exhibiting at Seawork 2018, and you believe the boat in question to be innovative, new, clever, a game-changer or any of the above then make a mental note to enter it or persuade its maker to enter it into the ECMAs this time.

Important info:

·        There is no cost for Seawork exhibitors entering vessels and equipment into the awards- only the time it takes to fill in a form! You’ve paid to exhibit- so capitalize on one of the benefits of doing so.

·        We do not count vessel designs that only exist on paper or screen for the awards. Plenty of design and naval architecture awards exist elsewhere. For the ECMAs there has to be a working vessel in existence- although a single working prototype would count at a pinch.

·        The vessel must be available though. The sense check for this is if a customer wanted one you’d be able to take their order for it at your stand at Seawork 2018.

·        Ideally the vessel itself should be physically at Seawork, or failing that, full details of it, perhaps a model and photos- in short there has to be ‘something at’ the exhibition for the panel to ‘judge’.

·        It has to have been brought to market in the year preceding June 2018, but it can be hard to define when something as big and complex as a boat was brought to market, so we’re not too stringent on this one. If we could have clearly bought one over a year ago, it’s not new enough.

Entry forms are circulated with the exhibitor information packs prior to the event, so please keep an eye open in spring 2018 for this. It is one of many forms, and I fear exhibitors might miss it out while attending to the ‘must do’ jobs, like ordering shell schemes, electrics etc.

If you are still in doubt about entering, let me also add that in my main capacity of Editor of Maritime Journal, Seawork International’s sister magazine, all shortlisted equipment and vessels will be featured in MJ in the prized June issue, in the Innovations Showcase feature (the issue that every stand holder at Seawork gets a copy of). Additionally, category winners are then often featured in MJ during the next year with more detailed follow-up editorial. As is always the case with MJ editorial, this is all provided entirely free of charge.

Plans are in an early stage right now, but we’re thinking of a mild rebrand of the vessel component of these awards, perhaps calling it SEAWORK INTERNATIONAL VESSEL OF THE YEAR, or similar, and of course promoting the winner and letting them use various award winners’ branding on their advertising materials, brochures etc. If you’re a possible entrant though, I’d love to hear your views on this side. If you won it what would work best for you?

Jake Frith
Editor: Maritime Journal
 



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