An event - a thing that happens or takes place, especially one of importance – can come in all shapes and sizes from dinner parties to charity parades or to OE19…
As the Events and Engagement Manager for the OGTC it’s my role to ensure we’re completely all over our involvement at OE19. From everything to do with our exhibition stand to content and logistics, to ensuring any additional exhibitors and staff are completely briefed on who, what, where and why so we all share the common goal of finishing the four-day event on a high - albeit completely exhausted.
Events don’t just happen.
This is months and years of planning every fine little detail. We’ve been thinking of this event since OE17, and as team we’ve been planning for this over a year now. The OGTC is an organisation who has a huge array of stakeholders ranging from tech developers and operators, to UK Government, Scottish Government, Local Government and quite importantly, also looking cross sector at other technology industries.
So how did we get to where we are today?
Mostly a lot of coffee and a lot of planning meetings, but it was well thought out. It can be really hard planning a showcase for an exhibition event as big as Offshore Europe 12 months out when you work in an tech industry that can change day by day! For us as an organisation it’s all about ensuring we deliver a value driven event. So, we asked ourselves first and foremost… what will our core objectives be as an organisation at the conference? And then we were off…
This year we are focusing on our new core goals - driving, delivering and connecting. This is how we drive a value driven event.
This year OE19 heads to a new venue so we have lots of new challenges but all exciting ones - for once we’re not in leaky marquees in the car park at the AECC, but we’re in a brand-spanking new venue - P&J Live. There’s heaps of unknowns we are dealing with such as “how much light will there be in the arena; how does the rigging work; will the ICT connections work; and most importantly, where do we park and how do we get there?” It’s going to be a learning curve for us all. There’s no dipping back into documents that have ‘lessons learnt’ from OE17 as most are now not applicable.
My OE19 folder has over 1,500 emails about the conference (that’s only received or email chains) and I’ve been in position for 13 months - that’s on average 115 emails a month not including face-to-face meetings and briefings! This is just my inbox - I don’t dare to ask my team to check that little figure lurking in the corner of the outlook folder!
We have covered everything from showcasing over 200 projects we (the OGTC) are currently working on, to a full programme of TechTalks and supporting our staff throughout the technical programme.
Hours have been poured into content and design from our MarComms team to ensure we have the key messaging spot on and that we are recognisable by brand but also by consistency as we span four different areas on the show floor this year!
This week we briefed our CEO on the strategic elements of OE19 - this was the third briefing in the last two weeks I have given; our leadership team, and finally (and crucially) to all the staff at the OGTC. These briefings are mini events in themselves. Ensuring we have the correct information for the right people depending on what the briefing should contain.
Most importantly, I want everyone to enjoy the week - it’s fast, it’s busy, it’s tiring and it’s constantly changing. FUN plays a large role in how I communicate our plans to our teams. If people enjoy being part of the event, then they are bought in.
With that, it’s my pleasure to showcase the OGTC at OE19.
Are you sitting down...
· The OGTC stand - our home (3B70)
· We’re driving the Start-up Village (1A51), powered by our technology accelerator programme TechX
· OGTC are sponsoring the Energy Transition Hub
· and we have a session in the Late Life and Decom Zone
This is just on the show floor. We have got presence in over 14 technical paper sessions and our wider team is engaging with 30+ stakeholders where meetings/coffees/additional events are filling the calendars by the minute!
Please check out what’s going on in more detail here from TechTalks - to a new solution centre launching to over 60 different companies being showcased. We’ve got robotics and hands on AR and VR kit. Oh and did I mention we have coffee and chocolate?
These kinds of weeks give us event managers the buzz - this is what we are trained and love to do. It doesn’t come without stressful moments and we can’t always please people 100% of the time but my goodness we will always try and nail it 120% each and every single time!
It takes an army to make this happen and I couldn’t have done it without the amazing team supporting all the activities! A huge thanks must also go to our amazing suppliers - you know who you are!
My top tips for OE19:
- Good shoes
- Decent sleep
- Plan ahead... who do you want to see? There are over 900 exhibiting companies, 65+ technical presentations and 11 keynote session
- Most importantly - have fun! It's only as good as you make it!
Have a great OE everyone! It’s time to rock and roll…