Organisers of Aberdeen’s SPE Offshore Europe conference say there is no change to their plans to run a physical event in February, as the UK proposes tighter restrictions in the face of rising cases of a new variant of COVID-19.
Co-organisers Reed Exhibitions (RX) and professional body Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) said they continue to liaise with government on health and safety guidance.
It comes following the First Minister’s announcement today in which she set out revised guidance on household gatherings and hospitality.
RX portfolio director for energy & marine, Jonathan Heastie, said: “The health and safety of our exhibitors, attendees and staff is our priority. There is no change to the plan to run a live event at P&J Live from 1-4 February 2022.
“We are working closely with the Scottish Government, the local authorities and the venue to implement all health and safety measures in line with Scottish Government guidance.
“We will continue to update the specifics as the show approaches.”
Further details on safety measures are available on the event website.
The news comes as Nicola Sturgeon urged people to limit contact with other households and announced that shops and hospitality venues will be encouraged to bring back physical distancing measures.
February’s event would be the first in-person Offshore Europe event since 2019, which saw around 38,000 people from 119 countries attend the Aberdeen arena.
Organisers had hoped for a live event this year, however uncertainty over local restrictions and the Delta variant prompted a postponement until 2022.
Instead, a virtual event took place in September, with more than 3,700 people registered for the online sessions, 40% of whom were international visitors.
Mr Heastie said that travel restrictions would inevitably mean fewer foreign delegates in 2022, but that appetite for the event remained high and pre-registrations “healthy”.
Indeed, in October organisers said that just 15% of exhibition space was available across its three halls.
“In terms of visitors, it is inevitable that we will have fewer international attendees than previous editions, but we have a vibrant and engaged offshore energy community in the UK that is highly motivated for the power that face-to-face interaction brings,” he continued.
Registrations for the conference are open via the Offshore Europe website.
New additions for 2022 include a hydrogen hub, energy transition zone, future opportunities theatre and future talent hub.