Organisers say it is their intention to continue with the flagship Subsea Expo event in February, despite the cancellation of SPE Offshore Europe amid rising omicron cases.
Billed as the world’s largest subsea exhibition and conference, Subsea Expo is due to be held in the P&J Live in Aberdeen from 22-24 February.
However organisers of oil and gas show SPE Offshore Europe, due to take place 1-4 February at the same venue, announced Thursday that their event would be postponed, citing rising cases of the omicron variant of Covid-19.
Organised by the newly relaunched Global Underwater Hub (GUH) – formerly Subsea UK – the free Subsea Expo event would typically see more than 6,500 delegates attend over its three-day run, alongside around 200 exhibiting companies.
In light of interest in the event and the sector, GUH said it intended to continue unless government guidance or restrictions forced a rescheduling.
GUH chief executive Neil Gordon said: “Having postponed the event twice and given the interest in and appetite for Subsea Expo, it is our intention to proceed with the event unless guidance or restrictions, nearer the dates, force us to reschedule.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and will keep everyone fully apprised. Any decision taken will be based on our ability to run a successful event that is safe for all our exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and delegates at the time.”
The last Expo event was held in February 2020, just weeks before the UK was put into its first lockdown to stop the spread of the virus.
The GUH was rebranded last year, with the aim of making the UK’s £8bn underwater industry one of the country’s largest and fastest growing. Forecasts for the sector expect the global market to nearly triple in the coming decades, from £50bn today to £140bn by 2035.
Meanwhile, Offshore Europe organisers SPE and Reed Exhibitions said that a smaller, themed event may be staged later in 2022 if there is sufficient demand from the industry. Meanwhile the event will be rescheduled for September 5-8 2023.
Organisers had originally held firm, saying in December that there were no plans to have Offshore Europe postponed.