The best Aqua Nor ever –

The best Aqua Nor ever Published:  22 August, 2011

The world’s largest aquaculture exhibition, Aqua Nor, had a record number of visitors this year.

The exhibition is a very effective meeting place, created by all the exhibitors and visitors who are here, says Liv Holmefjord, Chairman of the Board of the Nor-Fishing Foundation, which is the organizer of the event. Representatives of 61 nations – or more than one quarter of all countries in the world – , visited the exhibition during the four days it lasted.

The recipe for this success is a balanced mixture of exhibitors, professional conferences, seminars and presentations. In addition, all the international visitors have added colour to the exhibition. “All told we have had visitors from 61 nations,” says Ola Eriksen, Managing Director of Trondheim Spektrum, the technical organiser. Aqua Nor also draws a number of foreign delegations to Trondheim. Five foreign ministers visited the exhibition as heads of official delegations.

“This is very nice and quite flattering. And when people say they will be back the next time, we feel that we have succeeded,” says Eriksen.

“Many of the fish farming companies have brought many of their own staff to the exhibition this time. Managers as well as people in the work force.

“It is very interesting to talk to all these people, says Eriksen. The common comment from the exhibitors is that it gives them an opportunity to discuss professional problems, but also to just get together more socially.

A new feature this year was several events organized around town during the exhibition, and especially at the Ravnkloa fish mongers market at the waterfront. “ In spite of rain and less than perfect weather people did go out and attended these events,” says Eriksen.

“The Ravnkloa “Salmon Table” and concerts organized in connection with this were well attended.  It seems we managed to fill a need that we really did not know was there. This part of the programme was a joint initiative with the Trondheim Business Association, one of the local banks, Visit Trondheim and Trondheim Spektrum.

New information technology was put to use for the first time this year. In the main entrance hall a large information screen was installed, and some 15 smaller screens were placed in the various exhibition halls to inform visitors and exhibitors of coming events. In addition an application for “smart phones” was developed to show a map of the area and the entire programme for the exhibition and related events.

“With more than 20 mini-seminars and conferences going on it is not always easy to remember when and where to go,” says Eriksen. We will be developing this further for the next exhibition. In a comment at the end of the exhibition, Liv Holmefjord, Chairman of the Nor-Fishing, said: “We are very happy with the results this year. But we are already looking ahead to the next exhibition, which is the Nor-Fishing fisheries technology exhibition 14 – 17 August 2012.

“We are going to review our experiences from this year over the next few weeks. We had some minor technical problems during the first day, and there have been some queues forming in the restaurants at times. No major disasters, but we still have to look at whatever improvements we can implement. At any rate, we promise we will do our best so that people will be happy with the arrangements when we open the doors next year.”

More than 17,500 visitors from 61 nations came to Aqua Nor this year. This was 3,500 more (+25%) than during Aqua Nor 2009. The exhibition area totalled 18,000 m2 and this represented an increase of 2,000 m2 compared to 2009. A total of 460 exhibitors from 26 countries were present.