Contemporary cruise ships are arguably among the largest, most complex machines on earth. As passenger vessels have gotten larger, the technologies employed to operate them have grown ever more complex and integrated.

From the navigation, telecommunications and radar equipment on the bridge to integrated point-of-sale systems that enable guests to purchase photos and shore excursions from their stateroom to food and beverage inventory-control systems, nearly every aspect of operations onboard modern cruise ships employs cutting-edge technologies. Whether a company sells or wants to sell entertainment equipment, mobile and wireless technologies or data management and onboard productivity solutions to cruise lines, it needs to be at Cruise Shipping Miami.

Companies have recognized this and will bring their newest products to show at CSM every year. These include:

  • LG Electronics, which makes televisions and other entertainment products for hospitality
  • Rescompany Systems, which makes reservations software for cruise and travel applications
  • Lufthansa Systems, a leader in hospitality IT systems
  • Fidelio, manufacturer of passenger and crew management systems
  • Allin Interactive, maker of ITV solutions and products for cruise lines and resorts

As Cruise Shipping Miami 2014 celebrates its third decade, organizers UBM Live are planning a series of innovative events, pavilions and conference sessions designed to keep the show relevant, vibrant and productive to anyone engaged in the global cruise business, but especially for technology companies.

Scheduled for March 10-13, the 30th annual Cruise Shipping Miami will host four days of conference sessions and networking events, and a massive three-day exhibition showcasing the latest in cruise products, services and destinations. As part of the anniversary commemoration, UBM Live is introducing an Emerging Product Zone display at the center of the exhibition. The multimedia booth will provide a look back over the past three decades of growth, expansion and change in the cruise industry, while providing a showcase for up-to-the-minute products of today and a glimpse of what may come in the future.

To highlight the latest trends and innovations in the all-important food and beverage arena, CSM 2014 will debut the F&B Pavilion on the tradeshow floor. There, exhibitors will showcase the latest in culinary trends, shipboard food-handling and cooking equipment, and the newest foods and preparation technologies.

Also new to the exhibition for 2014 is the Cruise Trends Theater, a product and services showcase that offers exhibitors and attendees a venue where they can present innovations from all sectors of the cruise business — from entertainment to food and beverage, onboard revenue, sustainability and technology. Through a series of 30-minute presentations, exhibitors and attendees will present their cutting-edge product and service concepts directly to key cruise industry stakeholders inside the purpose-built Cruise Trends Theater. 

Specific topics for presentation in the Trends Theater are collected under the general themes of Emerging Trends in Food & Beverage, Sustainable Cruise Showcase and Advances in Technology: Challenges and Opportunities.

Cruise Shipping Miami remains the essential event for companies doing business or wanting to do business with the cruise lines. In 2013 more than 900 exhibiting companies from 123 countries participated in the tradeshow — nearly 100 of them first-timers. And 40 percent of those exhibitors reported closing business during the exhibition.

Continuing with their innovative approach to the four-day conference, organizers are introducing a revamped conference program, based on feedback from attendees. The conference session lineup features four thematic streams, each offering valuable, forward-thinking content: Ships and Ship Operations, Global Geography of Cruise Tourism, Market Segments and Cruise Product Development.

Within those larger themes, individual session topics will include shipbuilding and refurbishment, family cruising, the growing pan-Asia market, marketing and distribution, mainstay markets of Europe and the Caribbean, green products and practices, safety and security, and emerging niche products such as expedition and river cruising.

In addition to the tradeshow and conference sessions, Cruise Shipping Miami provides ample networking opportunities that provide direct access to influential cruise line executives, expert conference speakers, executives from cruise associations and special guests. These events include the Presidents of the Member Cruise Lines' Welcome Reception, Cruise Lines International Association Membership reception, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Gala Dinner and sponsored breakfasts and luncheons.

Like the industry it embodies and celebrates, Cruise Shipping Miami remains exciting, expansive and innovative — and it is still the place to do business with the cruise lines.