Realising your worldwide business opportunities

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The Reference Point has the expertise to promote and expand your company’s presence worldwide.

Since our inception in 2000, The Reference Point has successfully ensured its customers achieve ongoing growth and a strong presence in their specific market sectors. Over a decade’s insight, experience and knowledge, combined with an extensive contact list and continuous networking, is the key to our success.

Our core work includes marketing and strategic sales, generating awareness and increasing income for our clients. Predominantly working in the marine and renewables industries, but with experience across many other sectors, The Reference Point works closely with companies from all markets to fully understand what product or service they want to sell or promote and advises on how to achieve the desired results.

This can include identifying potential new markets, strategic market entry, business development opportunities, sales opportunities and implementing sales strategies.

The Reference Point also advises on what business events companies should attend, such as exhibitions, trade fairs and conferences, and offers support throughout the whole process from inception to completion of such a project, which includes negotiating stand space, handling the presence at an event and ensuring media coverage is achieved.

If you want to increase your international presence, The Reference Point can help.

Trust us to achieve worldwide results


We appreciate that every client is unique. We offer services and advice based solely on getting to know you and your requirements. The Reference Point builds trust with our clients through regular communication and by being transparent in everything we do.

With the expertise acquired since 2000, our core work includes marketing and strategic sales, generating leads and awareness, as well as increasing income for our clients from their products and services.

Headed up by Nele Andersch, The Reference Point benefits from her positive and professional approach and her extensive experience and established network of contacts.

Prior to setting up The Reference Point, Nele held positions both in her native country, Germany, and in the UK gathering contacts, market knowledge and experience. She was regularly involved in developing and promoting innovative technology products to the marine and renewable energy industries and assisting companies to find new markets for existing or new products. In previous positions she has been heavily involved in identifying market potential abroad in sectors such as tourism, renewable energy, shipbuilding, publishing, art, legal and financial. Nele has been attending and organising trade fairs for the past 25 years and is highly knowledgeable in what makes a good experience for companies attending trade fairs and exhibitions.

“It’s important to understand the building blocks of the decision process – I know it’s not about a salesman sitting in front of a buyer. Instead it’s about the foundations that we set in stone from the top down that empower the company with the confidence that The Reference Point is a breath of fresh air and that we are there to help them reach their full potential in their market with their products. I am there to open the right doors for companies so they can benefit from new prospects.”
Nele Andersch, Founder, The Reference Point.

An example of this work includes German ship owner/manager NSB Group whom we are representing in Europe.

NSB Group

Choose the right event and optimise your experience


The key to experiencing a successful trade fair is to be there – on the ground, in your own country and internationally. Whether you are visiting or exhibiting.

Trade fairs, exhibitions and congresses offer fantastic opportunities to increase your market presence. They provide an excellent opportunity to meet prospective partners, source new business, host clients and discover state-of-the-art products, trends and new services in your field.

We know our way around the world of trade fairs. For years we have successfully placed clients at the right industry events for their company’s objectives.

We are the sole UK appointed representative for two world leading events: Shipbuilding, Marine Technology and Machinery (SMM) international trade fair, which is the most prominent event for the maritime industry, and WindEnergy – the leading global onshore and offshore exhibition.


We offer three packages that have been designed to optimise companies’ trade fair experience. The Reference Point’s packages are tailored to ensure we can handle the time consuming preparation required ahead of shows and also the whole experience at the show, anywhere in the world. This allows companies to have a hassle-free experience and ensures staff are able to continue with their own job.

To ensure all aspects of the process are handled, The Reference Point can rely on its network of partners for services such as translation, accommodation, stand design/construction, PR, lobbying and brand design.


The “Starter Kit” is for companies that want to start attending exhibition events and need advice on the ones that are best suited to their business. It is ideal for companies that would like to explore an event, make the most of visiting or maybe begin with a modest exhibition presence.


The “Moving on Up” package is aimed at companies that would like to have a presence as an exhibitor but would benefit from outsourcing the whole process from booking the stand through to setting up business opportunities at the event.


The “All Rounder” package is for those who might have exhibited before but really want to take advantage of our skills. This package includes everything that is necessary for a successful trade fair presence and experience, from inception and completion, such as investigating stand location choices, all administration matters, a marketing strategy, PR activities and more.

Please get in touch to discuss what is included in these packages and your specific requirements.


Are you looking to bring more business to your show?

With years of experience working with multiple event and trade fair organisers we have a proven track record in helping companies achieve the most out of their exhibition experience.

We can contribute to your show from our UK base and also travel to be on-hand at the required location.

  • Nele is a consummate professional. Multi-skilled, multi-lingual and head of a multi-disciplined practice. Efficient, energetic with good business sense and great contacts throughout the maritime, offshore and renewables sectors in particular. Very easy to work with.

    Edwin Lampert

    Group Editor,
    Riviera Maritime Media – Publishing, conferences

  • “Working with Nele at this year's Hamburg event was an absolute pleasure. She is professional, fast, clear and demonstrated a remarkable flexible, forward thinking and exceptional customer focused approach."



  • “Negotiating with exhibition organisers to secure a good stand location at a tradeshow can be a complicated process. However, Nele’s personality, understanding of our business, flexibility and diligence were all key in helping us successfully secure a position in a great location, ideal for achieving the necessary awareness at such an important tradeshow as SMM.”

    Nick Brown, Bureau Veritas

    as Brand and External Relations Manager of Lloyd's Register,
    – SMM

  • "Over many years cooperation and collaboration, we have come to recognise Nele as a true and valuable professional. She brings personality, clarity and multiple transferable skills which benefit a variety of sectors.
    Her energetic yet thoughtful & disciplined business approach adds immeasurable value to projects and both Lincoln Diesels Ltd and our wider group have relied regularly on her input, reliability and innovation when it comes to the SMM Hamburg exhibition, the flagship event for our own industry.”

    Peter Hoggett

    Lincoln Diesels Ltd.,
    – SMM

Our motivation is realising your potential


Hamburg Messe and Congress GmbH

The Reference Point has worked extensively for 13 years representing Hamburg Messe and Congress GmbH, a full-service provider that organises and conducts national and international exhibitions in Hamburg and on a global scale. The Reference Point has been successful in raising awareness of the events in the UK, increasing exhibitor and visitor numbers year on year to HMC’s world-leading technology fairs: Shipbuilding, Marine Technology and Machinery (SMM), the leading trade fair for the maritime industry, and WindEnergy, the leading global onshore and offshore exhibition, both held in Hamburg.

NSB Group, Hamburg

In 2015 The Reference Point was appointed by the NSB Group in Hamburg as their representative. The NSB Group is a ship owner/manager with 75 container vessels, tankers, offshore jack up and research vessels under ownership/management and the representation covers all six group companies between Hamburg and Asia with services such as ship management, consulting, crewing, chartering and technology services.

Our work focuses on market analysis and recommendations, marketing and acting as a service provider for the business sectors the group is servicing, customer development and developing sales strategies. This includes raising awareness internationally for recent achievements such as winning the internationally recognised Riviera Maritime Media Innovation Award (April 2016), which the NSB Group was awarded for its ship widening.

Riviera Maritime Media (RMM), London

RMM set out to grow their business in Germany of technical maritime publications and technical maritime conferences. The Reference Point was involved by assisting with building and extending the customer base and raising awareness for RMM’s services.

Maclay Murray & Spens, Edinburgh

When law firm MMS decided that they wanted to reach out further to a German audience, The Reference Point was hired to create awareness and presentations in Germany to promote the German desk that the firm had set up at their Scottish offices.

Edinburgh City Council and VisitScotland

Together the two organisations set out to promote Edinburgh and Scotland to the German tourism industry. The Reference Point was elected to conduct two large presentations in Munich and Hamburg to further the already established contact to the German tourism industry and to create new contacts. This included the whole project management from start to finish: handling data and invitee lists, organising hospitality, creating publicity by involving local media, including broadsheets and TV, and be present on location to run the events on site.

Publishing, Germany and UK

In her role as rights and licenses manager, The Reference Point founder, Nele Andersch, was strongly involved over many years in selling the translation rights of authors which German and British publishers worked with. This also included the marketing of books and audio books, and improving and extending networks, by utilising the international book fairs in Frankfurt and London.

Offering a helping hand


The Reference Point is pleased to be able to direct you to our trusted service partners. This is a selection of companies that we can strongly recommend to meet your additional requirements.

“We have established our trusted list of service partners through working repeatedly with these companies over the years. Their services are available to all The Reference Point customers to use when they need some extra assistance.”

Nele Andersch,
Founder, The Reference Point

  • BLUE_logo

    BLUE is the leading global PR and communications consultancy for the shipping, marine, energy and offshore industries. Truly passionate about these niche sectors BLUE is working with many leading organisations including global companies, NGOs, industry bodies, governments and regulators that span the shipping, marine, energy and offshore markets. BLUE’s in-depth knowledge means clients businesses and the challenges that they and their customers face are fully understood. This enables BLUE to create strategic PR and communications programmes that build reputation and enterprise value targeting key influencers and stakeholders across shipping and marine, energy and offshore sectors. It also maximises commercial opportunities for clients, which could otherwise be overlooked.

  • GS_logo_1

    For nearly 13 years, German Shows have helped many UK companies to enhance their presence at trade shows in Germany. With their design office in the UK and equipment and crews in Germany and mainland Europe, German Shows has a unique and cost-effective setup. The company works with high-end modular exhibition systems incorporating large format fabric graphics or in a more traditional way building any bespoke stand elements exhibitors may require. Once a company has decided to exhibit, German Shows can assist to formulate the most suitable stand layout. At the end of this process, to-scale 3D visuals and floor plans will be provided. Simply complete the online request form on their website or call 01296 319703. Stand build made easy by German Shows.


    KJM/TRP Associates – Klaas Jarchow Media in Hamburg has appointed The Reference Point as their associate. We will be supporting KJM’s international book projects and support its authors and their rights around the world. Amongst these are established photographer Thomas Kunadt, who is renown for his second to none atmospheric images of commercial vessels around the globe, and illustrator Eleanor Bick, whose fantasy images capture the minds of young and old alike. KJM has been long established in the literary book world and has a specific interest in maritime subjects. TRP has a considerable history in international rights sales and book promotion.



    Travel Event Service Team. – Behind these four key areas is a company with 25 years of experience in hotel reservations for business travel, trade show and business meetings and event organisation. Using established international networks TEST will find the right hotel room for its clients at any time as well as locations for meetings and exceptional event locations. TEST is offering all services from one source. Its innovative team, 47 creative minds with experience in the hotel industry, event marketing, organisation of commercial conferences and business meetings are looking forward to assist you.


    Elbstand Messebau has been established since 2007 and their young, flexible and creative team of architects, project managers and cabinet makers will help you to design and create your perfect stand from conception through to completion and assembly. By working closely with their clients throughout the project they manage to achieve high quality, made-to-measure solutions for the perfect trade show presence.


  • 1bite Catering is a sophisticated catering service promising to provide you with healthy and delicious food that will excite all your senses.

    As a young and energetic team of chefs, event organisers, creatives and IT geeks, they each bring their own specialist expertise and a shared passion for catering and event organisation. Together they form a unique crew with more than 50 years of combined business experience who care about serving healthy, mouth-watering dishes and high quality presentation without compromising on the precious flavours of their food.


    Embassy Event Services are specialists in providing logistical services to organisers and exhibitors at global events.

    Wether you are a first time exhibitor or ship to event globally on a regular basis, Embassy Events will be happy to help you achieve your budget logistic targets. They offer Air, Sea and Road freight services directly to and from any global event and express courier services (same or next day delivery) to most European destinations. A fully tailor made packing service ensures all your exhibits arrive in excellent condition and with a global network of offices and local agents they can offer 24/7 support to help ensure a trouble free event.



    MDS Standbuild and Service has been established in Germany for nearly 40 years.

    Located near Hamburg their workshops provide the perfect one-stop shop for all your stand building and logistics needs with planning and design, production, transport and assembly all under one roof. A team of highly skilled and English speaking employees will make use of their own fully equipped carpentry workshop, their digital print and design shop and fleet of MAN trucks to support you all the way from conception to exhibition.

The Reference Point

Reference Point (Europe) Ltd
St John’s House
St John’s Street
PO19 1UU
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)1243 850602

View Location

Company No. 283807
Registered address: Chiene + Tait CA,
61 Dublin Street, Edinburgh EH3 6NL

4 photos copyright © Thomas Kunadt, Hamburg