Wednesday, October 14, 2020

London International Shipping Week 2021 Sets Out Its Stall for Part Virtual Format

Plans for Thousands to Gather at Major Shipping Events Regardless of Covid-19
Shipping News Feature

UK – It may seem a little incongruous at this time to be talking about an event which normally sees participants from all over the world flocking to London but the organisers of London International Shipping Week 2021 say that next year's gathering promises to be the largest and most important so far. Judging by the fact the virtual launch attracted around 1,000 delegates it seems they may well be right.

Those who attended the launch saw an event that brought together HRH The Princess Royal, as well as political figures and industry leaders from the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong, and all were told that LISW21 will progress with its intention of propelling world trade with an exploration of its overarching theme of ‘Driving growth and recovery in a disrupted world’. Never has a title carried more relevance.

Covid-19 has taken the world by storm, yet it is only one of many challenges facing a global shipping industry already in flux. LISW21 will explore how the shipping industry can balance its post-pandemic recovery against the mounting pressures and opportunities of de-globalisation, decarbonisation, and digitalisation, for the agile, sustainable progression of international trade.

The key drivers of Trade, Finance, Technology and People will be evident throughout the week’s events including the headline LISW21 Conference backed up by the important principles of Environment, Social, and Governance. The organisers have confidently planned for the event, for the first time ever, to be both virtual and face-to-face, the controversial nature of this optimistic view will doubtless come under scrutiny as the event approaches.

The plan is for the physical events during the week to open their doors to the thousands of visitors who are expected to attend, while also utilising online conferencing technology to open up LISW21 to an even wider and more varied global audience. Operating as a hybrid event, combining the best in class of physical and virtual experiences, LISW21 expects to draw not only the thousands of visitors to London who came in 2019, but also thousands more online who may be otherwise prohibited from attending in person by resource or distance. Speaking at the virtual launch of LISW21, newly installed UK Maritime Minister, Robert Courts, said:

“Our world-leading maritime sector is crucial to the economic success of the UK, especially as we build back from Covid-19. I am very much looking forward to London International Shipping Week 2021 where we will once again showcase the very best of our industry, drive progress on the issues that matter, and create new partnerships that will drive growth and innovation.”

Over 90 international trade associations have signed on as Supporting Organisations for LISW21 to date, and sponsors are coming forward to support what the organisers say is the maritime industry’s must-attend and thought leadership event. Lord Mountevans, Chairman of the LISW21 Board of Advisors, told the launch event:

“By including a strong virtual element to what will also be a face-to-face event, it means that we can open up LISW21 and its myriad of excellent industry events to the younger generation joining or wishing to join this fabulous industry. These are young people who, because of the Covid pandemic, may have missed out on much needed office-based mentoring. We will be welcoming them on board during the week.

“London is a major international maritime centre and the role it plays internationally in making shipping and trade work cannot be understated. Which is why we are delighted we have forged the type of strong relationship we have with Her Majesty’s Government, as well as other international Governments and regulators and the international and UK domestic maritime industries.”

A video of the virtual launch, in which the Princess Royal comments on the essential nature of the industry, and all those working within it, can be seen here.