Over a hundred high-level leaders from the global onshore and offshore gas community came together during the first edition of the Gas Fest in Amsterdam. While the participants were full of praise for the format and experience, little did they or the organisers know it would turn out to be an award-winning B2B event.
The unique two-day event in November 2017 featured an inspirational and informal festival-style programme. Participants could choose from concurrent knowledge labs to identify the issues that needed to be addressed urgently, before selecting home base groups where they could work with their peers to come up with creative solutions to these challenges.
The Finnish Association of Sponsoring and Event Marketing selected the Gas Fest as the best event in 2017 out of all the categories in the Finland Sponsorship & Events Awards and nominated it as the best B2B event and best international project. The Heavent Awards, organised by trade fair Heavent Meetings in Cannes, selected Gas Fest for the Forum, Summit, Congress and Fair Event Award. Evento Awards, organised by the Finnish magazine Eventolehti, presented the event with a Grand Prix and a B2B award. Finally, Bea World, an Italian initiative, that recognises and promotes excellence in events and live communication across the world, also shortlisted Gas Fest 2017.
“We are thrilled to have been recognised by these prestigious organisations,” says Banu Kannu, project manager for Gas Fest. “To be honest, our starting point was frustration with the current offering of industry events, which seem to churn out the same topics and format every year with no real industry progress. So, together with Matter and Woltti, our selected agency partners, we were able to bring our vision of the ultimate un-conference to life, where the participants do the work and reap the benefits.”
“Indeed, most events worldwide are very similar to each other,” says Jarkko Kivikoski, business director at Woltti Group. The Finnish company plans and executes around 450 events per year and works on renewing the traditional B2B events. “You see the same type of keynote speakers and traditional roundtable, networking discussions. We figured that decision-makers can choose from an endless number of events, so we needed to stand out from the competition,” says Kivikoski who is very proud of the awards. “They are evidence of its success. I think we’ve done something special,” he adds with a smile.
Success is usually a result of strong teamwork and the Gas Fest organisers credit the Matter Group, the supporting agency responsible for the moderation, facilitation and graphical scribing at the Gas Fest, for the experience that participants had. The group’s principals have a long history of supporting high-level annual meetings such as the World Economic Forum in Davos as well as the now Global Maritime Forum, formerly the Danish Maritime Forum.
Many of the participants told the organisers that the event was “different” and “beneficial”. Many also wanted to know what will happen next with all the ideas and plans. “This is our next challenge,” says Kivikoski. “How to maintain the commitment after the event and work continuously. You have to be willing to work if you want to change the world.”
This is something that will also be addressed in the second edition of the Gas Fest, which will take place in Convento do Beato, a former convent close to the heart of Lisbon, Portugal on Wednesday and Thursday, that is, 20 and 21 February 2019. “I’m personally very pleased that the Gas Fest will continue,” says Kivikoski. “It’s a testament to the success of the format and what we have built”.
The theme of the first edition was “Providing cleaner energy for the many” while the second edition of the Gas Fest will focus on the “Role of gas in decarbonising shipping”. In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states adopted an initial climate change strategy. It stated that international shipping must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels.
“We are looking forward to the event and hope to continue the spirit of collaboration in a fun environment which is critical for commercial success,” adds Kannu.