Aberdeen event organisers have offered little sign of normality resuming after deciding an event five months away should be held virtually.
ENGenious 2020 was due to be held at the P&J Live in September but it is instead being redesigned for an online and interactive format amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK Government last week announced the extension of lockdown measures for “at least” another three weeks, meanwhile the coronavirus furlough scheme, which launched today to provide workers with 80% of their wages during the pandemic, will go on until June.
However, it is unclear when major events will resume in the UK, including Aberdeen, which last year opened its new £333million conference centre.
Reed Exhibitions and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) said they had taken into account expert advice from government and health officials.
ENGenious 2020 exhibition director Simon Marshall said: “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the virus.
“After extensive consultation with our partners and taking into account expert advice from the government and public health authorities, we have made the decision not to run the intended exhibition and conference but instead switch to a virtual conference format.
“Times like these present great challenges but also opportunities. ENGenious stands for ingenuity, innovation and digital leadership in energy, and using a virtual platform aligns perfectly with these goals and indeed broadens our ability to connect with stakeholders globally.”
Mr Marshall said the new format will feed into SPE’s plans for Offshore Europe 2021, which will “go big on digital”.
ENGenious will take place on September 22-24, for just the second time after being launched in 2018.
Organisers said in January that 1,200 people were expected to attend the 2020 showcase.