Offshore Europe’s long-awaited return to Aberdeen is not just impacting energy firms but all kinds of businesses.
The show, taking place at P&J Live from Tuesday to Friday next week, is expected to bring in more than £50 million for the north-east.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) Offshore Europe oil and gas conference and exhibition is undoubtedly the biggest event on the region’s energy industry calendar.
Hotels rooms are snapped up quickly, and many bars and restaurants in and around Aberdeen see a surge in bookings.
International visitors expected to spend £1,200 each
Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce policy director Ryan Crighton shared insight into recent analysis.
Mr Crighton 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 £50m to the north-east economy, with each international delegate spending around £1,200.”
According to SPE, 38.000 people attended the last Offshhore Europe event in 2019. The Covid pandemic kept the normally biennial show away in 2021.
Asked about the likely turnout next week, SPE said: “We can’t be certain of attendance numbers until after the show closes and the entry numbers are tallied. Current expectations are for around 35,000 attendees over the four days.”
Thousands of poeple will be travelling to Aberdeen from overseas.
SPE added: “We have pre-registered attendees from countries including Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Norway, Nigeria and the US.”
With each international delegate expected to spend about £1,200, an estimated 4,000 foreign delegates could deliver £4.8m for the region as part of the total £50m-plus economic boost.
Offshore Europe ‘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.”
Fierce Beer is one of the Aberdeen firms expecting to cash in.
Jamie Farman, manager of its bar on Exchequer Row, said: “We’re not usually a place for big bookings but during that particular week we do have an increase.
“It’s definitely a good thing for us.
“Any sort of event that brings in people from outwith Aberdeen definitely helps business – us, taxi drivers, all sorts of things.”
Lorenzo Maraviglia, manager of the Union Cafe & Bistro, on Union Street, said Offshore Europe and other major events “definitely bring more people”. He is expecting a “higher than usual” number coming through the door next week, especially for takeaways.
‘A warm north-east welcome’
VisitAberdeenshire chairwoman Claire Bruce said: “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 a future return to the region.”
Aberdeen taxi firm ComCab 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.”