Westerner Park was a hotbed of oilpatch activity on Monday, as exhibitors staked their places for the Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo.
The two-day trade show kicks off on Wednesday, with some 400 booth spaces booked in the Stockmen’s and Prairie pavilions, and an outdoor display area.
“If we needed to, I could probably make two more booths, but as far as what we had originally anticipated, we are 100 per cent sold out,” said organizer Dwayne McArthur.
Most of the exhibitors are from Alberta, he said, but some have travelled thousands of kilometres to take part.
“We have people all the way from Texas.”
All have some connection to the oil and gas sectors, but their products and services are many and varied. They also range in size, which McArthur said is what he wanted.
“As far as I’m concerned, that’s what this show is all about. It includes every single aspect from a one-man show all the way to the biggest companies in the world.”
He expects plenty of interaction between businesses, clients and prospective clients, and there will also be presentations by several industry experts.
These include Scott Arnold, director of sustainability and external relations with Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., who will speak at 2 p.m. on Wednesday; and Mark Scholz, president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, who is scheduled to follow at 4 p.m.
On Thursday, Jerry Hanna, CEO of Clearflow Enviro Systems Group, will present at 2 p.m.; and Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling will take the podium at 4 p.m.
“I really encourage people to come down and listen to all of them,” said McArthur, who wants to raise public awareness about the energy sector.
So far, he noted, there has been a good response from people who work in the industry as well as from others who don’t.
Running concurrent with the Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo will be Boutiques For Women — formerly World of Women.
That female-focused show will take place in the Prairie Pavilion salons, where the 40 available booth spaces have sold out.
Like the Oil & Gas Expo, Boutiques For Women will be organized on a regular basis, said McArthur.
Planning for 2015 is already underway, but the shows might be held on an annual basis, he pointed out.
In the case of Boutiques For Women, McArthur wants to include a strong educational component in the future, with seminars and workshops.
Hours for the 2013 Red Deer Oil & Gas Expo and Boutiques For Women will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., both days. There is no charge to attend, and parking is free.
Additional information can be found online at www.reddeeroilandgasexpo.com.