Graham Harman has worked as Exhibition Manager for PESGB for the last few decades. Now retired, he reminisces on some of his early memories in the industry…
Forty years ago I was working for a company called Spearhead Exhibitions.
David Stott, the M.D, started Spearhead by producing the monthly magazine Offshore Services. This was closely followed by the purchase of the notorious North Sea Oil Directory. At that time the oil sector and in particular Aberdeen as a centre was in its infancy. Yet still, to David, it seemed perfectly sensible to organise an oil show in Aberdeen – but where?
I had stood the previous year with David along side the busy A90 road just north of the Bridge of Don whilst he extolled the virtue of the 20 acre field in front of me. We were in fact standing about 30 metres in front of where the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre now stands.
The first show in 1975 was nearly the first and the last. The annual rainfall for Scotland fell in the 5 days before the show opened. The field turned into a quagmire and we had buses, cars and lorries down to their axles in no time. In the end everyone had to park on The Esplanade and we used shuttle buses to the site. The whole show was held in canvas marquees and resembled a large circus.
After the show, even David had to admit it was not a roaring success but I am glad to say that he and others have worked to make Offshore Europe one of the biggest and best oil shows in the world – I may have even played a small part in its early success.
Here’s to the next 40 years!!