“Let’s face it,” Ingvild explains over a Teams morning coffee chat, “few people really warmed up to the idea of having a digital conference until very recently. Especially the networking aspect of a physical conference is something that we thought would be the main stumbling block for going digital. However, circumstances have changed, as we all know, to an extent that we had to take the bull by the horn.”
The Norwegian Continental Shelf Exploration conference is now in its seventh year and has grown into a industry-recognised platform for companies operating in Norwegian waters to share the experiences from recent exploration efforts. Despite a depressed oil market and the effect on wells being drilled, this year’s conference still offers a great line-up of presenters, with the story around the Dugong discovery as a prime example of how the NCS still continues to deliver.
“Another reason why we may have been a little hesitant to make the change to virtual,” Ingvild admits, “is the hassle of getting it all organised! It has truly been a crazy few weeks making decisions around so many new aspects of getting this done. As an example, the talks will all be recorded in a professional studio in order to ensure a smooth delivery. Without having any experience in this type of work, it was a little daunting to go to market and select the right candidate.”
“We are confident that we’ve nailed all aspects of the transition to digital and are looking forward to delivering a great conference.”
The conference will take place on 14-15 October, as was always the plan. The talks are going to be delivered in blocks of three, with a Q&A at the end of each block where participants are able to ask questions to the presenter. There is ample opportunity for group chats on the side, there’s a virtual exhibition space and people can hold meetings with groups of up to 50.
“We now realise that the great benefit of a virtual conference is that more people are able to join, also from abroad,” Ingvild says. “Yes, there is a charge, but people will save on travelling and accommodation, so we hope to welcome a much broader audience, which is only a good thing,” she adds.