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Record attendance from whole worldon ONS

The ONS 2008 exhibition and conference, which runs from 26-29 August in Stavanger, is proving more popular than ever with exhibitors and visitors from all over the globe.

“The petroleum industry is enjoying a boom, of course, but we’re also benefiting from purposeful work over many years,” says Kjell Ursin-Smith, chief executive of the ONS Foundation.
 
The ONS 2008 exhibition and conference, which runs from 26-29 August in Stavanger, is proving more popular than ever with exhibitors and visitors from all over the globe.
 
Beating all previous records, this year’s show has seen net stand space expand to 18 829 and good sales for the conference sessions.
 
“The petroleum industry is enjoying a boom, of course, but we’re also benefiting from purposeful work over many years,” says Kjell Ursin-Smith, chief executive of the ONS Foundation.
 
“Aimed at improving the event and putting it on the international map, these successful efforts have won us a genuine status as a key meeting place for the global energy industry.”
 
The ONS 2008 exhibition was sold out as early as last year, with companies booking stands like never before. Even now, the show has a long waiting list of applicants hoping for space.
 
Foreigners now account for 49 per cent of exhibitors, up from the previous event in 2006. But the overall number of exhibitors has declined from 1 290 to 1 197 – reflecting company consolidation and an increase in average stand size.
 
“We naturally want to present as many companies as possible,” says Mr Ursin-Smith. “At the same time, the expansion in stand size shows we’ve been on the right track. It confirms that our exhibitors are also making a bigger commitment than ever to ONS, while we seem to have reached our optimum size.”
 
A host of top speakers have been assembled for the conference, including Lord Browne, former head of BP, Nobuo Tanaka, head of the International Energy Agency, Norwegian premier Jens Stoltenberg and StatoilHydro chief executive Helge Lund.
 
So it is not surprising that this programme, under the main ONS theme of energy for one world, has attracted even more delegate registrations than at the same time in 2006.
 
“Since conference registrations normally peak between now and the opening of the show, we’re naturally awaiting the final outcome with some suspense,” says Mr Ursin-Smith. “But there is no sign that sales will slacken – quite the contrary.”
 
ONS 2008 is offering a number of new features, including an additional temporary hall which houses a new theme park for renewable energy among its stands.
 
“We’re pleased about the Renewable Energy Park,” says Mr Ursin-Smith. “Like the industry as a whole, we’re working within an expanded energy concept."
 
“Facilitating the presentation of the whole spectrum of this sector has been a goal, and the new park also helps to underline our main theme”
 
Another innovation at the show is a series of business breakfasts at the exhibition centre, with speeches and refreshments.
 
Houston and Aberdeen will be participating for the first time as guest cities at this year’s ONS festival in downtown Stavanger.
 
They join three Norwegian towns and the Faroese capital of Tórshavn as well as several company pavilions around the inner Vågen harbour, offering cultural displays and culinary treats.
 
The festival concludes at 21.30 on the evening of Thursday 28 August with a free concert featuring the reunion of Norwegian rock band The September When.