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Red Deer is expected to play host to a new energy sector trade show this fall.
The Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo is scheduled to take place Sept. 11 and 12 at Westerner Park. Event organizer Dwayne MacArthur, a local businessman, said he’s booked the Prairie and Stockmen’s pavilions, as well as outdoor space, for the show.
“Registrations have been going extremely well, so our booth space is filling up a lot more rapidly than we thought it would.
“I’m very optimistic that we’ll be able to utilize all the space we have rented.”
An oil and gas trade show should be a natural fit for Central Alberta, said MacArthur.
“Red Deer is the centre of the service industry for the oilfield,” he said, noting that many companies have their head offices here.
But he also expects to attract exhibitors from Edmonton to Calgary, with some from even farther afield already committing to the event.
“We have people from Fort St. John and Dawson Creek that will be attending.”
MacArthur believes the Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo will be a good place for companies to showcase new technologies to prospective customers.
“We want them to be able to go and make everybody aware of this new information that they have, and the new way they do things.”
However, he also sees the event as a way to raise awareness about the energy sector, and hopes to attract a broad section of the public.
“There is no charge for the show,” said MacArthur. “We are not just having certain oil and gas people come, . . . absolutely everyone is welcome to come and learn.”
He plans to organize the Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo every two years, and said he’s already booked space at Westerner Park for 2015. This will avoid conflicts with the Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show and the Calgary Global Petroleum Show, which are held on even-numbered years.
MacArthur expects the 2013 Oil & Gas Expo to benefit from the fact the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors will hold its fall conference for service rig operators in Red Deer on Sept. 11. And CAODC’s conference for drilling rig operators will take place the next day in Nisku.
Cindy Soderstrom, CAODC’s manager of communications and corporate services, agreed that Red Deer would be a good location for an oil and gas trade show.
“Dwayne has certainly been talking to us about it,” she said.
“A lot of our service rig companies are based out of there and we actually host our service rig executive committee meetings in Red Deer every month. We think if Red Deer is more aware of oil and gas, that’s a good thing.”
Four years ago, an oil and gas trade show in Red Deer resulted in fraud charges against the organizers after it was cancelled and exhibitors were not refunded their money.
MacArthur said he’s well aware of that incident, and is working hard to ensure people receive good information about the Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo. It’s joined the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and has applied for an associate membership in the CAODC.
Additional information about the Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo can be found on its website at www.reddeeroilandgasexpo.com.