Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) released research findings today (27th March, 2014) showing that the economic impact generated by the Venue’s largest event – Offshore Europe (OE), is much higher than reported for previous shows and in 2013 contributed £53.9m(1) of economic impact to the region.
OE is the Eastern hemisphere’s largest oil production and exploration event and has been held in Aberdeen since 1973. In 2013 the biennial event celebrated its 40th birthday by staging the biggest and best conference and exhibition to date. The 2013 theme was ‘The Next 50 Years’ which represented the continued success story of the industry in terms of future production and the associated strong supply chain. A record 63,000 people attended the four-day show in September 2013.
Brian Horsburgh, AECC’s Managing Director said: “We have historically calculated economic impact using national multipliers and spending patterns. In 2009 the survey conducted put the economic impact of OE 2009 at £35m(2). However, we felt that the results didn’t represent the current picture – and the visitor experience of Aberdeen today. Therefore, we have adopted a methodology developed by AIPC (the International Association of Convention Centres) which aims to standardise these calculations globally.”
During OE 2013 at AECC, a team of interviewers questioned nearly 900 delegates and exhibitors to establish their direct event-related expenditure. The survey covered: personal expenditure, travel and accommodation costs, additional leisure spend plus the value of business won or expected to be secured as a result of the event.
In summary, the total economic impact of OE 2013 was valued at £53.9m.
Vasyl Zhygalo, Senior Exhibition Director for Reed Exhibitions added: “The Offshore Europe Partnership is delighted with these findings which confirm the positive impact of our event on Aberdeen and the region. We are already making good progress with preparations for SPE Offshore Europe 2015 and we are also excited about the plans for the new AECC Venue. The larger and upgraded facilities will help us attract more exhibitors and visitors in the future, which in turn will further benefit the local economy.”
Brian Horsburgh added: “In addition, this research has identified significant opportunities to drive the economic impact further by working with other key stakeholders in the region. This includes leveraging leisure tourism through encouraging pre or post event stays as well as return incentives from business tourism events such as Offshore Europe.”