Home: Issue 8 2008 › An event to remember
An event to remember
01/10/2008 | Channel:
Human Resources, Manufacturing, Support Services, Subsea, Lifting Gear, Drilling, Health & Safety, Equipment, Technology, IT
We keep getting the same message from exhibitors, conference delegates and visitors - that they have experienced this year’s ONS as the best ever, and I really feel that we have confirmed our position as the leading energy meeting place in Europe,” says Kjell Ursin-Smith, chief executive of the ONS Foundation, reflecting on this year’s ONS Festival.
The celebratory mood is certainly justified - not only did ONS 2008 break several records in terms of achievements and attendance, but more importantly, it provided the ideal setting for the industry’s leading lights to meet, exhibit and discuss the future direction of the oil and gas market. From 26 - 29 August, more than 38,000 people visited Stavanger to enjoy a weekend offering the traditional exhibition and conference, together with a unique three nights of culinary experiences, music and entertainment, and they were certainly not disappointed.
Yet again, this year’s exhibition brought together one of the largest collections of the industry’s leading companies over 18,829 square metres of exhibition hall, demonstrating the latest technology and developments. Providing direct access to an offshore sector where investment worldwide is set to reach record levels in the coming years, the exhibition at ONS 2008 also featured an innovation park where the most innovative companies in the energy sector presented their progressive products.
Alongside the exhibition was the famed ONS conference, an event that has gained a reputation as one of the most important, and vital, forums in the modern international oil and gas sector. Boasting a programme that included top speakers from across the sector, the conference brought together heads of government, other ministers, senior and middle management, technical specialists and analysts from around the world.
This year’s conference was particularly notable, not only for the range of top speakers presenting, but for the fact that the traditional keynote speech common at many conferences was skipped in favour of a unique one-on-one interview on stage with former CEO of BP Lord Browne, and financial editor of CNN International Todd Benjamin. In this hour-long session, Lord Browne revealed his visionary thoughts about the trends, and future of the industry, and fielded question from an audience eager to hear his ideas.
Aside from these two important ONS staples, what really sets it apart from many of its competitors is the unique cultural festival, which ran each of the three nights. Those visitors wishing to enhance their overall ONS experience were treated to some of the finest cuisine available, together with a programme of music and entertainment that included some of Norway’s top musical acts. The culmination of this exciting festival came on the final night of ONS, when Stavanger band, The September When, played a closing concert that attracted an audience of more than 20,000 in and around the city’s central marketplace.
Following such a successful weekend, demand for both visiting and exhibiting at ONS 2010 is already high. So much so that a flood of this years key exhibitors have submitted booking forms for the next event, with the organisers claiming to have never seen such interest at such an early stage. Excitedly, everyone is looking forward to the next event - a weekend that promises to be even bigger and better than this year. To find out more about this year’s ONS, be sure to look in our next issue, where we will be featuring an in-depth review, and asking some of our profile companies more about their experiences at the event.