It feels like we’ve finally broken free of the pandemic chains,” says Nor-Shipping Director Sidsel Norvik, following the news that Norway ended its national coronavirus restrictions last weekend.
orvik notes that, with the April 4-7 dates fast approaching, Nor-Shipping will be a “post pandemic celebration”, giving the industry the perfect platform to re-engage, reboot and re-energise partnerships and ambitions.
Shipping and the ocean industries are people businesses,” she states. “We need to come together to collaborate, inspire and be inspired, learn, share and find solutions to the challenges, and huge opportunities, that await on the horizon. The freer we are to do this, the greater our chances of success.
“As an industry, we are only as strong as our community. So, it’s fantastic that, finally, Nor-Shipping can once again operate as a true global hub for international stakeholders to gather and set course for sustainable ocean business. The fact we can do that safely – meeting and socialising freely – without restrictions is really the icing on the cake. It’s the recipe for an unforgettable event week. I think the atmosphere is going to be electric, and the energy infectious.”
Nor-Shipping has twice fallen victim to the global pandemic, moving from its original summer 2021 slot to January 2022, before eventually securing the April dates. It will now offer its patient participants (of which there were 50,000 last time round) an array of highlights, from the 22,000 sq m halls in Lillestrøm packed with exhibitors, through to a lively social scene in Oslo, based around the After Work at Aker Brygge hub in the city centre.
Knut Erik Dahle, Nor-Shipping Head of Conference and Event, notes that interest in both the knowledge sharing and networking events is snowballing: “The party tickets are on sale now and going fast, while headline gatherings such as the Ocean Leadership Conference are nearing sell out status.”
He continues: “People have been cautious about committing, and understandably so, but with the gradual easing of restrictions we’ve seen a shift in attitude – the realisation is dawning that ‘yes, finally, we can do this!’ It’s difficult to overstate just how much that means to a community that have been forced apart and banished onto screens for almost two years.”
Alongside the main conference, party and After Work, the always anticipated Blue Talks programme, technical seminars, International Ship Autonomy and Sustainability Summit, and a broad spectrum of partner events will ensure something for everybody with ocean business interests this April.
In addition to the end of social distancing and associated restrictions, the Norwegian government has also ceased the requirement for coronavirus testing relating to international visitors.