One month after attacks, Brussels opens its doors to exhibitors, attendees and buyers of Seafood Expo Global 2016
It was this time last year that attendees and exhibitors traveled to Brussels for Seafood Expo Global 2015, unaware of what effects a transportation strike would have on the show. With private transportation in place, Twitter was buzzing with attendee selfies on the way to the center, and feedback assured show staff that all was well that ends well.
Flash-forward to February 2016. Nearly 10 months after the 2015 show, the 2016 Seafood Expo Global show was on pace to be another record-breaking year in terms of exhibit space. But then, on the morning of 22 March, 2016, the world awoke to the reality of two terrorist bombings in Brussels: the first in the airport at Zaventem and the second at Malbeek metro station.
The consequences of the bombings on Seafood Expo Global were played up heavily in seafood trade media. As companies made the difficult decision to cancel exhibit space – a number that remains at approximately 5 percent today – speculation regarding the show ran rampant. However, being owned by Diversified Communications, SeafoodSource had the opportunity to observe firsthand how much hard work, strategic planning and dedication the Seafood Expo Global team put in to assuring the safety and security of attendees and exhibitors.
Today, on the opening day of Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Processing Global 2016, Diversified is expecting more than 1,650 companies exhibiting from 76 countries, including 72 national and regional pavilions. Cancellations held steady at just 5 percent, and buyers from more than 100 countries registered for the event since 22 March.
Security remains of the utmost importance, with measures put in place such as bag checks, metal wand inspections, body pat-downs and detection dogs. Representatives from the city of Brussels assured staff and show attendees that military and police presence would be increased throughout the city and at the show. Shuttles will be provided for attendees, with screenings at each stop as well.
It’s been a trying time for the industry. But as the numbers prove, the industry is also incredibly resilient. So once again, we welcome you to another year in the city of Brussels, home to Seafood Expo Global and Seafood Processing Global.