Swinging London

Is any visit to London truly complete if it doesn’t involve a trip to the pub? Here at CSIE we think that it’s the perfect backdrop for the ultimate reunion of the European cruise ship interiors industry. Based on last night’s festivities, it looks like the cruise ship interiors community agrees. The CSIE Opening Party, sponsored by De Wave Group, kicked off in style at The Fox. The cruise ship interiors industry met and mingled under the twinkling fairy lights of the pub. There was even some time to cheer on some of the teams of the World Cup.

Breakfasting, networking and connecting

The first-ever CSIE Speed Networking event started early on Day One. Buyers and suppliers across the marine interiors supply chain met bright and early for a shot of coffee, a plate of pastries and several rounds of speed networking. Suppliers met with no fewer than 8 directly relevant buyers to discuss how they may be able to work together in the future. Over at the CSI Plus lounge CSI Plus Members met for the final in-person event on the CSI Plus calendar. After a year of vibrant in person events CSI Plus Members including Ingrid Stowell from Agua Fabrics, YSA Design and Oriol Meliz from LED 4C enjoyed fresh java and nibbles before launching into the day’s activities.

Everything happening in the hall

The exhibitors at CSIE took advantage of the entire European cruise ship interiors industry being under one roof to really show what they’ve been working on.

When visitors weren’t admiring the samples of fresh products and discussing solutions with exhibiting suppliers, outfitters and design studios they could have a fun with some of the many interactive experiences available across the show floor.

 Bolidt showed off their unique decking solution with three ‘pouring sessions’ on their stand, Stand 708. After collaborating in 2018 with artist Johnny Hurts, who created pour art using big inflatable bears using Bolidt materials, Bolidt were excited to bring this to exhibitions as an interactive demonstration of their decking materials. Each session began with a demonstration and presentation from Johnny Hurts who shows participants the liquid solution – Bolidt’s Bolideck Select Hard.

Tired cruise line executives and designers could take the weight off their feet at Sonic Chair’s stand, where they invited visitors to sit in their unique chairs – also known as ‘acoustic islands’. Once seated, the newly comfortable can connect to the chairs Bluetooth to listen to music or watch videos without disturbing others. As with cruise ships, trade shows are busy places and the chance to unwind is always welcome.

Later in the day, new-to-CSIE suppliers had the chance to pitch their products and services to a panel of cruise line and design studio buyers that included George Scammel, Peter Joehnk and Bree Louie in the Pitch and Pint event. Located at the CSIE Pub – because what London event is complete without a pub – suppliers including Atlantic Marine, Secto Design, G-TEX, Songolini and Wilton Carpets had just 2 minutes to pitch their products while they and supportive onlookers enjoyed a pint. The panel of experts greatly enjoyed the pitches and a large crowd stayed to see who would catch the judges’ eyes and Secto Design emerged the deserving victors.

Over in the VIP Lounge, Cruise & Ferry welcomed many of their customers to the traditional Afternoon Tea. Brent Sebro, Virgin Voyages , Thomas Westergaard, Hurtigruten, Anne Mari Gullikstad, YSA Design and Deniz Sibilia, Royal Caribbean were all in attendance, enjoying the tea and cake that are the hallmarks of a British afternoon tea.

Trend forecasting at CSIE

The first learning event of the day was the workshop Marine 101, which took place on exhibitor Aros Marine’s stand. Curated for the eager new suppliers hoping to gain the practical know-how they need to strategically enter the marine market, Beatrice Siri, AVP Architectural Outfitting & Design, Newbuilding & Innovation, Royal Caribbean Group was poised to share her knowledge and answer questions from the large crowd gathered.

She shared what she found exceptional in a buyer-supplier relationship:

‘A project is a journey and we are in this together working towards the same goal with our suppliers. What I value most from a supplier is that they are proactive, transparent, and if there’s a problem, we talk about it and find a solution.’

The keynote of today’s Cruise Conversation’s Live, the premier cruise ship interiors conference was The Futurist: Cruise Design in 2030. No one knows what the future holds – or do they? Futurist and Trend Watcher Richard Van Hooijdonk has plenty of tips for those looking to track market behaviours and apply them to their business strategies. Richard zeroed in on advances in the tech sectors and how new tools such as AI and 3D printing could be of benefit to the interiors industry.

He pointed to the changes already noted in the hotel and hospitality design industry, which could be employed by cruise brands and designers:

‘Thanks to 3D printing, we are able to print locally, anywhere in the world. We can 3D print materials and pieces to complete a design. Hotels and other buildings are currently being built and designed this way.’

Raising a Glass

All good times should be celebrated, and CSIE is no different. The day’s product sourcing and networking closed with a drink. Sponsored by Akula Living, VDN, YSA Design and SIKA, buyers, cruise lines, designers, outfitters and suppliers all spent time raising a glass to the day’s activities.

Feeling like you’ve missed out? Find out about the next upcoming event here.