The FIFA World Cup is not the only major event happening in Brazil this summer, as the Marintec South America Conference returns to Rio de Janeiro to host 18,000 delegates in August.
For European shipbuilders, the 3-day conference is one that is circled in the calendar as a potential visit for their sales, marketing an engineering teams. But is it really worth going half way across the world to visit the conference?
We look at the pros and cons of attending the Maintec South America Conference:
Delegate quality and quantity
As mentioned above, the expected attendance for this year's conference is 18,000. According to stats from the 2013 edition, 39% of delegates came from Europe and Africa, whilst there was a strong presence from South America (29%), North and Central America (23%) and Asia and Oceania too (13%).
There was also an even spread in business sectors represented with shipyard, repair and maintenance (20%) leading the way, followed by Suppliers (12%), Consulting (12%) and Oil & Gas (11%).
Learning from world-leading experts
As well as an Innovation Space dedicated to lectures and education, the conference will include talks on key topics such as new technology, human resources and labour force qualification and education.
Soon to be announced experts will prop up the discussions allowing for innovative conversations and collaborations to take place. Being part of those fresh ideas and discussion may just make a difference to your next client project.
Your next new market?
Home to the World Cup this year and the Olympics in 2016, Brazil's infrastructure is changing to realign its position as 'the country to do business in' in South America. Attending the event may just give you an insight into the shipbuilding sector in this part of the world - especially with a large contingent of natives attending the conference.
On a lower level, Brazil is the only country, out of the four destinations Marintec conferences are held, that you do not need a Visa to travel - making the decision to go as last minute as you desire.
Investment, time and cost
Can your business afford the time and cost to go to the event? With staff enduring a 12-hour journey and being out of the office for 5 days (including travel) can certainly their desk work. Not to mention the cost of travel, accommodation and expenses whilst in Brasil.
And if you're looking to exhibit on top of these costs, its worth making a thorough plan to make sure you're recouping investment through new business at the event. An alternative for European shipbuilders maybe the Marintec Conference in St Petersburg, Russia. Travel costs are half the price, and journey times are a quarter of what it would be to Rio.
Will you get seen by decision makers?
33% of people who attended in 2013 were the decision maker for the business. Great stats, but does that mean you will get found if you're exhibiting? Amongst hundreds of businesses you need to stand out from the crowd in someway. Remember that this is an international event, therefore a bi-lingual team may be crucial to securing a new deal on your stand.
Expertise on your doorstep
With any international events, its important to judge whether it is right for you to go. Sometimes the expertise you are after may be on your doorstep all along. From a shipbuild repair point of view, whether you're looking at orbital milling or vessel nozzle weld profiling tools - it may be worth scouring the UK and European market first.
Rio might be the place to be for the next few years (Olympics, anyone?) you may find yourself travelling all the way to the other side of the world to speak to a company based much closer to home.
Photo Credit: Marintec South America