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Commercial Marine Expo 2011
Commercial Marine Expo 2011, a B2B trade show serving commercial and military markets on the Atlantic seaboard, will be held at the Half Moone Cruise Ship Terminal in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, June 22 and 23.

'The 2011 show will encompass all 80,000 square-feet of both levels of the terminal building, 1,000 linear feet of deep-water seawall and approximately half of the facility's small-boat slips,' said Ted Hugger, the show's director.

The show shares location with the Nauticus Maritime Museum and the famous battleship Wisconsin, the organizers said. Commercial Marine Expo, which rotates between Norfolk and New Bedford, Massachusetts, is North America's only in-water commercial marine show, allowing exhibitors to demonstrate products and processes in the marine environment.

The two-day event will feature the equipment, gear and technology vital to coastal and blue water tug and barge operations, research, military, shipbuilding/repair, fire, police and harbor security, ferry, freight, pilot, port operations and commercial fishing, the organizers said.

More than 200 companies are expected to take part in the trade-only exhibition, drawing 3,000 to 4,000 commercial marine, military and commercial fishing professionals to Norfolk's working waterfront, conference organizers said. In 2010, the show attracted professionals from 30 U.S. states, six Canadian provinces and 10 countries.

The show exhibition space is 65 percent sold, and Hugger said it is on track to sell out. Companies such as John Deere, Cummins Atlantic, Quality Shipyards, ZF Marine, Volvo Penta and MTU Detroit Diesel are already signed on as exhibitors.

'The industry is just aching for a commercial marine show in Norfolk,' said Kerry Thompson, head of business development for Mack Boring & Parts Co. (Union, New Jersey). 'Already there's a lot of business in the region. Now, with all the talk of developing wind power and oil and gas drilling off the East Coast, we expect the offshore business in the region to get a big boost in coming years.'

'Norfolk is a great spot for Commercial Marine Expo,' said Furuno USA's (Denton, Maryland) Matt Wood. 'There's lots of commercial and marine traffic through Hampton Roads. Norfolk represents a diverse and business-rich environment for us. It's a junction of six major markets: the medium commercial markets like workboats and tugs, deep-sea commercial, U.S. government—Coast Guard and Navy, specialty markets like the Virginia and Maryland pilot boats, commercial fishing and high-end recreational marine like sportfishermen.'

Norfolk hosts a large U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry, with 22 percent of the nation's shipbuilding employees located there. Virginia ports are the seventh largest in the U.S., and Virginia is the nation's fourth largest producer of seafood products. In addition, Norfolk is home to the world's largest navy base, the Norfolk Naval Station, and is host to another half-dozen U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard installations.

'Commercial Marine Expo is a great way for us to further develop relationships with area shipbuilding and repair yards, as well as with new prospective suppliers,' said José I. Gutierrez, executive director for the Regional Maintenance Centers Management Office, Norfolk Ship Support Activity, Naval Sea Systems Command. 'Plus, the many equipment manufacturers at the show will be an efficient way for our team to see what's new in the marketplace.'

The mid-Atlantic represents a robust presence in every segment, conference organizers said, including major U.S. port authorities and engineers, shipbuilding and repair, marine engineers and architects, and owners and operators of and service providers to tug and push boats; commercial fishing boats; passenger and vehicle ferries; patrol, police and fire boats; excursion vessels; military and Coast Guard vessels; diving and salvage vessels; and research and education vessels.

Admission is free to qualified industry professionals who register before June 1. For additional information or to register, visit www.comarexpo.com or call 207-799-1356.

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