This time last week I was packed and ready to jet off to Amsterdam for the Offshore Energy 2015 Exhibition and Conference. This was my first time in Amsterdam, outside of Schipol Airport, and what a great excuse Offshore Energy is to experience such a renowned place. My first ever conference, my first ever public speech, the biggest recognition I have had regarding my career and blog to date. 'Investing in the future' - the theme of Offshore Energy 2015.
I arrived at OEEC early on Tuesday morning in time to meet with Coert van Zijll Langhout, the Managing Director of Navingo and Joep Stassen, professional moderator who lead the official opening ceremony. My role as part of the Opening Ceremony was a one-on-one interview with Joep, to talk about The Offshore Blondie and to officially open the event by pressing the 'big red button' with Coert. All Navingo staff members helping to organise the opening ceremony were incredibly welcoming and made me feel at such ease. Microphones at the ready, audience set, Joep welcomed me to the stage.
The interview lasted approximately 15 minutes but it seemed to be over all to quickly. We sat on stage just the two of us in the talk show style set. The lights were bright, the audience full and I could hear photographers camera snapping away. Joep and I discussed the blogs mission, my job role and future career plans, my advice regarding a career offshore and the future outlook of the offshore energy industry. The conversation on stage between myself and Joep seemed effortless and flowed very well. I found it very easy to discuss an industry and topic I am passionate and feel so strongly about. This was fantastic exposure for the blog and the mission I am on to get more young females and males thinking about a career offshore. A video of my interview should be available online very soon so keep an eye out, I will for sure be positing that on the blog!
Interview over, it was time to head to The Prospector stand and fully engross myself in Offshore Energy 2015. Walking back to the stand it was immediately evident that a huge amount of time and effort went into the planning and preparation of OEEC 2015. I had read through the program prior to the event but I had certainly underestimated the grand scale of the exhibition. Four different halls were full of variety of stands, some large, some small, some wide and some tall. The exhibition highlighted perfectly the shear size of the supply chain involved with the Offshore Energy sector, how diverse and specialized this industry is. Upon arrival at the stand I grabbed my phone to call my mum to let her know how the interview had gone. Unbeknown to myself, multiple members of the audience had been busy on twitter posting photos and sharing their support towards The Offshore Blondie. I am overwhelmed with the response the interview received and the kind words that followed from so many people at OECC during the duration of the two days and even now when I'm back at home.
I spent the remainder of my time at OEEC exploring the exhibition halls and networking with a variety of people. A variety of free merchandise was up for grabs at different stands, ranging from pens to cupcakes to stress balls to hotdogs. The topic of the current industry downturn was very prominent, a subject I was continuously asked about as soon as individuals saw 'Offshore Blondie' on the front of my business cards. The offshore industry is going through a tough time but it was very refreshing to see so many companies from a range areas of the offshore energy under one roof. I most certainly broadened my knowledge of the sector during my time at OEEC.
The event also included an extensive conference program with a variety of industry professionals presenting from leading companies.The conference program included offshore safety, technical data management, well intervention vessels and Dutch hydrocarbons synopsis. Prior to OEEC I had booked into couple of the conferences I was keen to attend over the course of the two days but unfortunately time ran away from me. I did however managed to catch some of the decommissioning technical session, a very interesting session, expressing that decommissioning of outdated and non-producing oil and gas platforms cannot be delayed anymore.
Thank you Navingo for inviting me and allowing me to be part of a great couple of days. Amsterdam is such a fantastic city and what a great location for OEEC to be hosted. This may have been my first industry event but it most certainly wont be the last. See you at Offshore Energy 2016.