Six decades of innovation


The need for SMM emerged way back in the mid-50s. Driven by a new era of economic optimism and the strong development of the maritime sector, the members of the newly formed German Association of Marine Engineers (VDSI) held a convention every 2–3 years in the city of Flensburg, and combined it later with a specialist trade fair.

This idea turned into SMM when the Hamburg branch of the VDSI hosted a similar congress in Hall B of the exhibition centre in Hamburg. The event took place on 22 May 1963 and was accompanied by the ‘Schiff und Maschine’ (Ships and Engines) exhibition. This was to be the very first in the series of SMM international trade fairs. Boosted by the export-oriented German economy and the importance of Hamburg as one of Europe’s leading ports, SMM managed to gain in reputation and has been growing ever since.

SMM through the years


Closely monitoring development within the various maritime sectors and offering visitors an ever-expanding and more diversified picture of topics, players and technologies, SMM developed into the most important exhibition and networking event for the maritime industry, and remains so to this day.



For six decades now, SMM has been pursuing its mission to continuously build and expand a unique platform that highlights innovations and initiatives, encourages dialogue and cooperation, and helps drive business forward. After the last physical event in 2018 and the virtual SMM DIGITAL in February 2021, SMM is now proud to open its doors again for the movers and shakers of the maritime transition to join forces in tackling the industry’s big challenges.