The long-awaited return of Offshore Europe is not just impacting energy firms, local business experts say the event will bring “more than £50 million” to the Granite City.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) Offshore Europe event is arguably one of, if not the, biggest events in the energy calendar for the north-east of Scotland.
Rooms at local hotels are snapped up quickly and many bars and restaurants across the Granite City see an influx of bookings.
Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s (AGCC) policy director, Ryan Crighton shared insight into “recent analysis.”
He said: “This is the moment where the eyes of the global energy sector are trained on Aberdeen and big business deals get done – deals which provide valuable contracts and work for companies here.
“The show draws tens of thousands of people and more than £50 million to the north-east economy, with each international delegate spending around £1,200 based on recent analysis.”
At the last Offshore Europe event, in 2019, SPE announced that 38,000 people visited the Granite City exhibition.
When asked about expected attendance at next week’s event, SPE responded: “SPE Offshore Europe is a free-to-attend event and we can’t be certain of attendance numbers until after the show closes and the entry numbers are tallied.
“However, current expectations are for around 35,000 attendees over the four days.”
Of the 35,000 expected attendees, thousands will be travelling to the city from overseas.
The event organisers added: “Approximately 4,000 of these could be international – we have pre-registered attendees from countries including Western Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Norway, Nigeria and USA.”
With each international delegate set to spend around £1,200, the expected 4,000 foreign delegates will take in £4.8 million of the £50m the event is expected to draw to the local economy, according to the analysis referred to by AGCC.
‘Offshore Europe is second only to Christmas’
Mr Crighton said: “For most bars and taxi drivers, Offshore Europe is second only to Christmas in terms of the customers and revenue it brings.”
Aberdeen firm Fierce Beer said that it experiences the boom that Mr Crighton spoke about.
The manager of the firm’s Fierce Bar on Exchequer Row, Jamie Farman told Energy Voice: “We’re not usually a place for big bookings but during that particular week, we do have an increase in larger bookings.”
This year’s Offshore Europe is no different as Fierce Bar said it has seen bookings made for large parties coming in throughout the week of the event.
Mr Farman added: “We have been in contact with a few other groups that want a space for after the exhibition.
“So yeah, it’s definitely a good thing for us.”
When asked about the impact events such as offshore Europe have on local businesses, Lorenzo, the manager of The Union Cafe said: “They definitely bring more people, especially for takeaway. So we have an influx of people, higher than usual.”
‘A warm north-east welcome’
As previously mentioned, Hotels, bars and restaurants all see a boost in business as thousands flock to Aberdeen for the energy show.
VisitAberdeenshire’s chair, Claire Bruce, told Energy Voice: “Large-scale events like Offshore Europe that bring international and domestic visitors to the area are hugely welcomed.
“The delegate experience is heightened by a warm north-east welcome from the hospitality businesses which will experience increased trade over the coming days, planting the seed for future return to the region.”
The manager of Feirce Bar encouraged similar events like this for the Granite City, saying it drives business.
Mr Farman said: “Any sort of event that brings people from outwith into Aberdeen definitely helps business, us, taxi drivers, all sorts of things.”
As it readies itself for the hubbub that is Offshore Europe, local taxi firm Comcab shared the sentiment of Ms Bruce and Mr Crighton.
The Taxi operator said: “Events such as this bring a huge boost to the city, with many hotels, restaurants and bars being much busier.
“It can highlight Aberdeen as a fantastic destination for guests and business.”