The world’s media is on its way.
The story they write is the story you tell them.
If we don’t want to exacerbate our next skills shortage, let alone our ability to raise money on the stock exchange we must prepare to expound the positive.
We have an industry to be proud of.
The barrel is half-full, not half-empty.
Remember the positives.
UKCS production is up; BP has announced $1bn investment in the ETAP project; the jacket for Mariner A is on its way (on time, within budget); the UK tax regime has improved in 2015 and we have a welcome new regulator in the Oil & Gas Authority. As an industry we are embracing cost control, standardisation, collaboration and innovation.
For those in need of smile support, think of Offshore Europe as a combination of Christmas and Halloween. Like Christmas, we see people we only see at this time of year.
Distant contacts fly in, resolve to meet more often, then fly away not to be seen until the next show. It is like Halloween because of the “trick or treating” between presentations.
You know the routine. Would you really like to hear my view on voidable replacement or can I just have a pen?
Do beware those mystery shoppers. The wise assume that the scruffy teenager helping themselves to a pen is their managing director’s son.
Security guard imitation isn’t what’s required. We have all seen them. Arms crossed, scowls fixed. As if when the last pen goes balance sheet insolvency will be inevitable. Don’t go there.
If someone asks you about the Arctic look at their hands. “Save the Arctic” written across them? – it could be Charlotte Church (not to be confused with a busker on a post Edinburgh Festival tour). If she asks about your “personal journey”, she doesn’t mean how long did it take you to get from the airport.
I’m not allowed to make jokes about ladies singing, but I do note Lord Browne and Hillary Clinton seem to agree with her. That’s a heavyweight trio I’d pay good money to hear sing!
Finally, if your message is trust us with your energy security, investment, the Arctic or fracking it will be reassuring if you can operate your stand’s television monitors.
Those seeking drilling licenses sometimes need to look a bit more like they got their driving licences first time (and we wonder why people hoard baked beans).
If you are still not smiling you may be destined to be the guy at the back of the stand playing Candy Crush. Beware being swapped out with one of the job seekers trying to catch your eye.
We have a job to do (thank God); get prepared and let’s do it.
Peter Murray is a partner at Scottish law firm Ledingham Chalmers where he specialises in UK corporate law and international projects.