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Cutting-edge ‘silent conferencing’ technology will be used at the energy industry’s East of England flagship conference and exhibition in tune with its theme of new technologies.

For the first time in the 12-year history of the East of England Energy Group’s (EEEGR) SNS2019, presentations will be streamed simultaneously to delegates’ audio headsets, allowing two sessions to run at once.

Investing in the latest conference innovation offers delegates a greater choice of speakers.

It also reflects this year’s theme, Industry 4.0 or the 4th industrial revolution – and how its fusion of new technologies will transform the energy sector.

The region’s unique mix of energy sources, its Skills for Energy focus, and the diverse mix of delegates prompted the decision to make the conference more targeted.

All 71 stands for the exhibition hall at the Norfolk Showground on May 15 and 16 have already sold out with EEEGR predicting SNS2019 will attract even more delegates than last year’s 1200 - making it its biggest event yet.

EEEGR CEO Simon Gray said introducing ‘silent conferencing’ would revolutionise the annual event, allowing delegates to plan their SNS2019 experience more efficiently and effectively.

“The main stage will still be used for plenary sessions via a normal PA system, addressing the entire audience as at previous SNS conferences. But we are aware we have a mixed audience of oil and gas, nuclear, offshore wind, supply chain and skills organisations, and some across all three sectors, so we will be breaking it down into two dedicated conference streams.

“For example one stream could be about skills in offshore wind, another considering salt precipitation in gas wells. They may not be of interest to the same audiences, but by using the latest technology, we can have two conference themes running at the same time without disruption to either session.

“We will also be using the Slido audience interaction system that allows delegates to ask questions or vote via their mobile phones.

“We have listened to our members’ feedback and have planned this year in response.”

The speaker line-up – to include announcements from offshore wind developers and southern North Sea gas operators – will focus on the new industrial digital revolution.

Presentations will explore new and emerging systems and innovations and how the industry can exploit technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and robotics, as well as physical and cyber security, in its day-to-day operations.

“We need to make sure we have robust levels of cyber security as we become ever more digitised and have increasing amounts of data that needs to be processed and analysed. Could we use this data to get smarter in areas such as predictive and preventative maintenance?

“We could use condition monitoring technology to apply sensors to indicate if a blade needs replacing within a specific time or when a bearing is likely to fail. From gathering data on turbines and platforms, we can learn more and more to allow us to predict what is likely to happen.”

Innovation was answering the industry’s call to improve safety, develop efficiencies, produce cost savings, maximise production and promote smarter ways of working, which would ultimately benefit consumers, he said.

Content will be included from the new Energy Skills Centre due to open at East Coast College’s Lowestoft campus in September, the East of England Offshore Wind Skills Centre at its Great Yarmouth campus and the University of East Anglia School of Engineering.

Conference delegate spaces remain, and also tables and individual bookings for the conference dinner on May 15.

Conference delegate places cost £175 for EEEGR members and £275 for non-members.

To book dinner tables or to attend the conference, visit the website above.

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