Seafood Expo Global is GREAT! | Blog | Seafish

Seafood Expo Global is GREAT!

Project Co-ordinator Phillip Quirie tells us more about what to expect in the next Seafood Expo Global Barcelona event in 2023.

Seafood Expo Global is the world’s largest seafood trade event. It takes place over three days in April in Barcelona. We partnered with Defra’s GREAT and Seafood Trade teams, as well as the Department for International Trade (DIT) to host a UK seafood pavilion at the Expo this year.

What did the UK pavilion at Seafood Expo Global 2022 look like?  

Our 176sqm pavilion provided UK seafood companies with a place to showcase product, conduct business, forge global connections, and demonstrate a pan-UK narrative on the global marketplace – all under the ‘GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland’ branding.  

The pavilion featured three primary zones:  

Communal lounge and reception area – Predominately for UK companies attending the show as visitors instead of exhibitors.   

The communal lounge and reception area at Seafood Expo Global, Barcelona 2022
The communal lounge is a place for companies to meet and interact

Chef demonstration and sampling area – Spearheaded by experienced chef, Scott Lyall. His palpable joy for the variety of impeccable seafood, generously donated by UK seafood businesses, meant that anyone within earshot were soon swooning.

Chefs working on seafood to provide to guests at Barcelona Expo
Small plates are regularly cooked and made available to visitors, showcasing UK species

The exhibitor zone- This area consisted of individual branded exhibition booths for UK companies to hire so they can strut their stuff in front of buyers from all over the world.  

A group of people speaking to each other at an exhibition stand
Businesses can showcase their trade and network with other industry in the exhibitor zone

What feedback did we get from the show this year? 

Before the 2022 show, I wondered whether Brexit, geopolitical conflict, and the global Covid-19 pandemic would affect the volume of visitors who returned to the show, but that wasn’t the case. Over 26,630 visitors attended over three days and 1,550 exhibiting companies from 76 different countries were shoaled into the new venue, spanning four enormous halls. The show also boasts a dedicated area for technology and innovation…should all that shiny machinery tickle your fancy.  

Our UK pavilion was located in a prime position in Hall 2. It was adjacent to the impressive exhibition stands of Denholm Seafoods and Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation, and just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Scottish pavilion. We had 60sqm of individually branded exhibition booths available for UK seafood businesses to hire on the UK pavilion.  

Check out what some of our exhibitors thought:  

We have started to supply a couple of new clients, and we’re in dialogue with several more.
Louise Kelly, Edwin Jenkinson Limited 
For market knowledge it’s vital to be at the show.
David Markham, Blue Sea Food Company
We used it for brand-building and meeting customers and suppliers.
Victoria Townsend, Ocean Fish

Seafood Expo Global allows you to step into the global market 

Attendees were suitably global. The EU was well represented, with people from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Denmark, Croatia, Cyprus, and Greece all visiting the UK pavilion. We also spotted buyers from New Zealand, South America, Canada, USA, Africa, China, Norway, and the Middle East. I was proprietor of the pavilion reception desk, and it certainly felt like the world was beginning to reconnect again.  

Some national pavilions tried novel means of attracting visitors to their stand, handing out free pints of draught beer or having a live DJ. But we kept things real, dishing out over 350 samples of amazing UK seafood instead. Someone aware of my musical past quietly suggested that next year I should bring my guitar and belt out some evocative sea shanties, but I assure you, that would attract the wrong kind of attention. Plus, our chef Scott Lyall and his team had it all in-hand. 

The kitchen was great to draw interest in the pavilion.
Louise Kelly, Edwin Jenkinson Ltd 
Good to have cooking demos onsite and adjacent to our booth, it added a point of difference.
Victoria Townsend, Ocean Fish 

Seafood Expo Global allows businesses to meet and network effectively  

The communal lounge and reception area featured a private meeting room for UK seafood companies. The lounge was used as a base for on-stand activities, such as a UK Seafood Reception ably hosted by our CEO Marcus Coleman and the British Consulate General for Catalonia, Balearic Islands, Aragon and Andorra, Lloyd Milen. There was also ample opportunity to meet Team Seafish, as well as our collaborators from Defra and DIT.  

Over the three days, I logged 160 visitors to the communal lounge per day. Some of them told us they used the lounge to meet new and existing clients and will strongly consider exhibiting on the UK pavilion in 2023. Music to my ears.  

The stand provided opportunities to connect with businesses and to bring together multiple layers of the supply chain.
Angela Riley, New England Seafood
The pavilion is a great place to have meetings then accidentally network or bump into people.
Edward Whittle, Whitby Seafoods 
We attended as visitors only this time, so having a lounge to use as a meeting place was very useful.
Adam Mudge, Brixham Trawler Agents 

All in all, Seafood Expo Global 2022 was a success story. A GREAT one, in fact. But if you still don’t believe me, then I would recommend you enrich the next two minutes and twenty seconds by watching our video from this year’s show. 

Are you thinking of attending the Seafood Expo Global event in future? Watch this video to find out more.

If you have any questions you’d like to ask about the show, please don’t hesitate to contact me on or 07966 393987.