The first ever online ptc 2020 was successfully held from 30 March to 2 April 2020. The digital version of the renowned Pipeline Technology Conference (ptc) was put in place on short notice by the organizer EITEP Institute, after the Corona-Pandemic led to a global shutdown. Despite the short preparation time, the ptc-team managed to provide an alternative version, which attracted more than 550 participants and 80 exhibitors, while also enabling more than 100 technical presentations to be shared with the global pipeline community. The organizer announced the creation of upcoming online events after the remarkable success of this unique pilot project.
“We were convinced that our innovative concept would be well received by the global pipeline community, but the success surprised even us. This shows that crisis situations not only present challenges, but also lead to meaningful innovations. We will build on this success and work out new offers that take up the advantages of digital services, such as online ptc 2020”, says Dr. Klaus Ritter, President of the organizing EITEP Institute.
The three-day-event took place at the same time as the original Pipeline Technology Conference was planned, therefore allowing many of the already registered participants, sponsors and exhibitors to shift smoothly to the digital edition. The core feature of the online ptc 2020 were the technical presentations, that were accessible as full papers or video files as well as the opportunity to connect and chat with other participants and exhibitors. The central activity feed allowed for the real-time posting of questions or information, contribution to an overall success of the digital event.
“We know of course that this kind of online event cannot replace the face-to-face contacts of a real conference with exhibition in Berlin, but we are very grateful that the whole ptc community made it possible to keep the spirit of the Pipeline Technology Conference alive by attending an intense exchange of experience between the participants and by gathering a global audience from all over the world, once again solidifying ptc’s standing as the most international pipeline event worldwide”, expresses Dennis Fandrich, Chairman of the ptc and Director Conferences at EITEP Institute, his gratitude to the many participants.
During the first day of online ptc video presentations were available to the audience along with the full papers of all presenters, totaling in more than 100 topics that were presented and discussed during the event. The second day was dedicated to networking, enabling all participants to connect with each other and have their private chat conversations with their business partners and potential clients. The last day was under the motto Throwback Thursday. Highlight video presentations from previous ptc-events were available that day and up for discussion.
A challenging aspect of this innovative project was the exhibition-part. The traditional ptc, recognized as Europe’s leading pipeline event, is attracting every year more and more exhibitors, who would like to share their technologies and solutions to the global pipeline community in general and to the high number of representatives from pipeline operators in particular. “Exhibitors want to be seen and want to be able to present themselves and their capabilities to their clients and potential customers. Therefore, we have established a special section within our conference app, giving every exhibitor the opportunity to be seen by the participants and to describe their services. Of course, this lacks the personal aspect of a trade fair, but it was a good compromise as company representatives were available for questions and requests from their digital visitors.” says Marian Ritter, Director Exhibitions at EITEP Institute.
An additional service for the presenters and exhibitors of online ptc 2020 is the publication of all the conference papers in several special issues of the Pipeline Technology Journal. The digital journal is also capable of including the video presentations, thus enabling its readers to consume all relevant information delivered by the online event.
Like the original ptc event in Berlin the online ptc 2020 was preceded by a series of seminars on Monday, this time held as online seminars. The topics were “Pipeline Defect Assessments” and “In-Line Inspection of Pipelines and Difficult to Inspect Pipelines”. Both the lecturers and the participants appreciated this format, especially in a time were professional training programs are limited by the current pandemic.
“Online ptc 2020 was an overall success, but the upcoming Pipeline Technology Conference 2021 of course will return to the established and accepted physical format our participants and exhibitors appreciate the most. The opportunity to engage in intense exchanges of experiences with pipeliners, face-to-face, with people from all over the world, is what defines our ptc and what makes it one of the world’s leading pipeline events”, says Dr. Klaus Ritter. “We are very grateful for the overall support our community gave to us in such challenging times. This encourages us to deliver an even greater event experience next year”, he added.
This excitement is shared by many professional pipeliners from all over the world, like Marcelino Guedes Gomes from Brazil’s Petrobras: “Congrats to the whole ptc family. The online ptc 2020 was a mark in the history of pipeline conferences.”
The outstanding success of the online ptc 2020 has prompted the organizer to create now offers for the global pipeline community. “It has become clear to us that online events have a future in our modern digital world, even without the threat of a pandemic and the need for social distancing. Formats like our online ptc 2020 have the potential to also address specific topics that are not part of the ptc, or niche topics, that have not found their home event yet.”, analyses Rana Alnasir-Boulos, head of EITEP Institutes Business Development department. “We will therefore analyze the market needs and come up with fresh ideas to supplement our Pipeline Technology Conference and Exhibition with additional services”.
All papers and videos from the online ptc 2020 will be available for free via the ptc Pipeline Open Knowledge Base on the official ptc website shortly.
The 16th Pipeline Technology Conference will take place from 15-18 March 2021 at the Estrel Congress Center in Berlin, Germany.