“If I may give you some advice: When you set out to host an event of the magnitude of the World Ports Conference, be sure to have a reliable and competent partner by your side that is well versed in event management and marketing” – that is what Sabine Stüben, Head of Marketing & Communication at the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) told the guests of the 29th IAPH World Ports Conference at the Gala Dinner, thus officially “conferring knighthood” on Kontrapunkt. Following more than two years of intense preparations the agency from Hamburg, engaged by the Hamburg Port Authority, launched the premier event of the maritime industry and not only gained praise from its client, but was also rewarded with a record turnout.

Under the banner theme of “City of Hamburg – Calling at the smartPORT” Kontrapunkt had developed a three-day programme for the conference at Congress Center Hamburg (CCH), where more than 40 inter-national speakers debated the future of ports worldwide and “intelligent port” concepts in eight different sessions. The Hamburg-based communications agency also made sure that the conference kicked off with a spectacular opening show and a stunning stage setting never seen before in the almost 30-year history of the IAPH World Ports Conference. Kontrapunkt used video mapping to transform the about 20-metre broad conference stage into a huge container depot in the Port of Tokyo – the seat of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) – from where it sent one of the boxes by sea to Hamburg. The virtual sea voyage to smartPORT Hamburg was accompanied by trampoline artists, drummers and a brilliant light show.

“In our opening show we took the audience on a journey across the ocean. The performances were a powerful way to launch the conference: lights, images, music and artists plunged the hall into a sea of colours that had guests in awe and left them with goose bumps,” beams Stefan Rössle, Managing Director of Kontrapunkt. The show included brief opening speeches by Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure; Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister for Economic Affairs; Jens Meier, Chairman of the Management Board of the Hamburg Port Authority and Grant Gilfillan, President of the IAPH.

More than 900 delegates from all over the world travelled to the Hanseatic City – the highest number of attendees the World Ports Conference has ever seen. Apart from a high-level conference programme visitors also appreciated the evening programme and social programme Kontrapunkt had created. Various tours took participants to famous sights in Hamburg such as the Fish Auction Hall in Altona, the “Michel” – Hamburg’s most beloved church –, the  Maritime Museum and the Miniaturwunderland (model railway) in Hamburg’s warehouse city. The record number of participants not only delighted the event organiser; some 30 sponsors and exhibitors used the week-long port conference as a corporate communication platform and presented their products and services at the conference exhibition. The IAPH World Ports Conference takes place in a different port city every other year: after Los Angeles and Hamburg, Bali will host it in 2017.

More information on www.iaph2015.org