The 35th edition of the Seafood Expo North America had record-breaking attendance this year. More than 20,680 seafood professionals participated in the event held this past March in Boston, according to Diversified Communications, the producers of the event.

This year’s exhibit hall featured 222,130 square feet of floor space occupied by 1,204 companies representing 51 countries. New and expanded country participation included Brazil, Canada, Senegal, Morocco, China, Ecuador and Spain, producers say. 

Show organizers say feedback from the event has been positive and reinforced the importance of doing business in the North American market. “Being at the show gave us excellent exposure to the right people and high-quality leads. We’re expecting to receive many calls after the expo as a result,” states Christa Svensson, export sales, marketing and sustainability, Bornstein Seafoods.

At the expo, attendees participated in special events, including a conference program on the most relevant topics in the seafood industry, culinary demonstrations and networking opportunities. But it wasn’t all business.

Daniel Notkin of Notkins Oyster Bar won the ninth annual oyster shucking contest,  shucking 12 oysters in one minute and 37 seconds, a full 34 seconds faster than the second-place contestant.

Winners of the 2015 Seafood Excellence Awards, which recognize product leaders in the North American seafood market, were also announced at the event. Yihe Corporation won the Best New Retail award for its Alaskan Jack’s; High Liner Foods won the Best New Foodservice award for its Pulled BBQ Salmon.  

“Seafood Expo North America was a great opportunity for Absolutely Lobster to launch its new products.  We definitely reached our goals and created new connections,” says Nickie Boston, director of brand marketing for Absolutely Lobster, a Seafood Excellence Awards finalist.

The 36th edition of Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America will take place March 6-8, 2016 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.