THE organisers of Seafood Expo Global said the cancellation rate among exhibitors to the show remained at five per cent, although it was too early to gauge the drop in the number of visitors this year.
Many regulars to the Brussels event have noticed how quiet the aisles are compared to previous years, and several companies have brought smaller contingents, with concerns about security still high, following the terrorist attacks of March 22.
However, Diversified Communications was upbeat and the company’s Liz Plizga said there had been ‘significant registrations in the last seven weeks’ from key buyers around the world. There were also 65 political delegations, including visits from the Norwegian fisheries minister who is due in Brussels tomorrow and the Indonesian fisheries minister, who was present at his country’s stands when the show opened this morning.
Scotland’s fisheries minister Richard Lochhead decided not to attend this year because of Scottish elections on May 5.
Plizga said the 2016 expo was on track to be a record breaker until the bombings, so even with companies pulling out at the last minute there were sill about the same level of exhibitors as last year.
Diversified said connections with Brussels were very strong, going back 24 years, and they have been constantly updating the situation in the city since the attacks. There was never any intention to cancel the event.
‘Life goes on and we moved on,’ said Diversified. Instead of talking about the five per cent who cancelled, they emphasised that 95 per cent who had not.
‘There is the same feeling around the show, people are launching new products and talking about deals, and there is new equipment in Hall 4.’