Major Perth trade event lauded by industry

expoAustralasian Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition (AOG) has received one of the industry’s top honours, winning a Best Trade Show award in the ‘over 10,000 square metre’ category.
AOG competed against Australasia’s leading trade shows, including Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition and the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME), to claim the award.
“To be recognised as the best trade show of our size for the fourth time is a testament to the ongoing hard work of our team to keep AOG fresh and innovative within a rapidly evolving industry,” AOG exhibition director Bill Hare said.
In 2013, the event attracted 508 exhibitors from more than 20 countries and about 15,000 attendees. Mr Hare said he expected it would grow by about 10 per cent in 2014, attracting more than 530 exhibitors and more than 16,000 attendees, including senior managers and engineering and technical professionals from all facets of the oil and gas industry.
AOG forms an integral part of the WA Government’s strategy to have Perth recognised as an ‘energy city’; it will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from 19 to 21 February.
International significance
In past years, AOG has represented an opportunity for international operators and explorers to fortify their presence in Australia, but more recently international suppliers of services and technology have entered the area.
“Australia is clearly one of the world’s hotspots, particularly for gas production and the LNG game,” Mr Hare said. “That’s one of the key reasons why we’re seeing continued growth in international exhibitors coming.”
He said that about 160 international companies would be represented at the 2014 event, with government or trade industry supported groups from the UK, the US, Holland, China, France, Italy and Norway in attendance. The upcoming event would also see the debut of groups from Singapore and Belgium.
The two day event includes 15 conference streams covering both subsea and non-subsea subjects, with about 150 speakers – 45 of these from outside of Australia – making it a truly international conference.
New features
AOG 2014 will provide a further enhanced experience for delegates as a result of a merger with the Subsea Australasia Conference.
Mr Hare said the event had run two conferences for the last few years – the AOG Conference and the Subsea Australasia Conference (a joint venture between the Society for Underwater Technology, Subsea Energy Australia and Subsea UK and AOG organiser Diversified Communications Australia).
This year the two conferences will merge to provide clearer branding and greater value for attendees: the new format will present double the number of conference streams as previous years, with about a 50 per cent split of subsea and non-subsea topics.
As a result of the expanding nature of the event, Mr Hare said 2014 would see a new area opened up on level two – the same level as the main entrance and the registration area.
“We’re doing a number of things up there, including two new zones for the show,” he said.
“One of them is the Instrumentation, Control and Automation Zone and the [other is] the Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring Zone – so farthey’ve been really well taken up.”
The two new zones will be established in conjunction with the Australian Institute for Non-Destructive Testing (AINDT) and the Institute of Instrumentation, Control and Automation (IICA).
AINDT president Ian Hogarth said the Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring Zone was targeted at highlighting the critical role that these fields play within the oil and gas industry.
“AINDT’s partnership with AOG gives our members the opportunity to showcase the high levels of service and advanced technology available in maintenance and damage assessment, life extension, and fitness for purpose assessment in the oil and gas industry,” Mr Hogarth said. IICA WA branch chairman Ernst Krauss said AOG offered an excellent platform for members to showcase the latest process, control, instrumentation and automation innovations to oil and gas industry decision-makers.
“With more than $200 billion worth of LNG projects planned or already in construction in Australia, the LNG sector represents a huge opportunity for our members. Through the IICA zone at AOG 2014, our members will be able to connect with thousands of visitors and senior project and procurement managers at the helm of upcoming projects,” Mr Krauss said.
According to Mr Hare, the organisers had a number of strategies in place to ensure “good visitor flow” to level two, including The Den lounge area, where the daily and grand prize draws would be drawn. He said there would be some fantastic prizes on offer, including hotel stays from sponsor Hyatt Regency.
AOG Women
AOG’s networking events offer the opportunity to develop and strengthen business relationships, providing an arena for peers to meet with visitors, conference delegates and exhibitors.
The AOG Women event is a new addition to the 2014 line up that aims to bring together women from across the industry for an afternoon of inspirational keynote speakers and insightful panels debating the issues faced by women in the oil and gas industry.
“We thought there was room for an event positioned essentially for women, but open to anyone, of course. It is designed to inspire and connect women, who are working in the oil and gas industry – inspire them through stories from other women; successful women
from within the oil and gas industry but also from some people outside of the industry,” Mr Hare said.
2013 Football Woman of the Year
Michelle Cowan is set to be one of the panellists. She was the first woman in Australia to be an assistant coach at a state football level and would share her personal story, Floral Bras and Football Boots, describing how she succeeded despite the opposition, Mr Hare said.
Mr Hare said he went to a lot of industry networking events and had noticed that apart from a few such as the Petroleum Club of WA dinners there were often not many women present; raising the issue of whether men had greater access to networks and mentors. The
AOG Women event is expected to attract between 250 and 300 attendees for a high tea, and is supported by Engineers Australia, the Petroleum Club of WA and new organisation Women in Oil and Gas.