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CSA conferences

Value of networking at the CSA

Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) conferences are a ‘must attend’ event for anyone in maritime business in the Caribbean and the Americas. And the two annual CSA conferences consistently attract the leading operatives and decision-makers in the Americas and their business partners and affiliates from across the Atlantic.

Information flows freely at CSA conferences. Everything you ever wanted to know about anything to do with shipping in the western hemisphere can be learned at CSA conferences. The two three-day events – the Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference in May and the Annual General Meeting, Conference and Exhibition in October – present an agenda of topics usually of urgent importance to maritime interests. Issues are addressed and dissected by experts in their field and participants come away with knowledge, intelligence and insights which they might never have gleaned had they not attended.

For three days twice a year, away from the office and the bustle of the workplace, maritime executives have an opportunity to sit together to receive a series of presentations from those most knowledgeable in their respective field. They learn what is happening in the industry, what will be happening in the years to come and, very importantly, how to address and deal with these issues. For this reason, if for no other, CSA conferences are a ‘must attend’ in hundreds of annual appointment calendars across the Americas.

Perhaps just as important as the agenda topics and the high standard of the presentations is the opportunity for participants to meet and talk with each other, one to one. It is argued that the value of networking at CSA conferences is more than the monetary cost of the entire conference experience.

In a region defined by a sea – the Caribbean – people are scattered and separated by brine. Ships and ports in the Caribbean and Latin America and the entities that operate them, are therefore as necessary to commerce as the highways and railroads in continental regions. And the persons who own and operate these various entities need to be in communication. CSA conferences create a situation in which operatives from all four language groups in the Region – English, Spanish, French and Dutch – get to meet and know each other. Indeed, lifelong friendships have grown out of the business relationships forged at CSA conferences.

The CSA recognises the absolute importance of business networking and understands the value it adds to regional shipping. Opportunities for this informal but crucial activity are created and facilitated by the Association at both annual CSA conferences. And participants make use of the opportunities, as reflected in these photographs taken by photographer Joey Glass at the 11th annual Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference in Jacksonville in May 2012.

Joey Glass photos;
courtesy of Jacksonville Port Authority