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SNS energy conference will come back “stronger” say organisers after snow forces cancellation

PUBLISHED: 08:40 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:11 01 March 2018

Simon Gray welcoming delegates to the SNS2016 conference in 2016. This year's event was cancelled as snow caused disruption but has now been rescheduled. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY.

Simon Gray welcoming delegates to the SNS2016 conference in 2016. This year's event was cancelled as snow caused disruption but has now been rescheduled. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY.

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The organiser of the biggest event in the region’s energy industry calendar has said it will come back “harder and stronger” after being cancelled due to the heavy snow hitting Norfolk.

The East of England Energy Group’s (EEEGR) SNS2018 conference was called off due to travel disruption across the country. More than 1,200 visitors had been expected to head to the Royal Norfolk Showground from across the UK and Europe.

EEEGR chief executive Simon Gray admitted it was frustrating to cancel the annual two-day event, scheduled for yesterday and today, but the weather had left organisers with little choice.

“We will be back, either later this year or next year, harder and stronger,” he said.

“It is frustrating because it is the event where we really try to bring together buyers and suppliers in this region and put them in touch with our members.

“This was the first year that we were going to put on ‘meet the buyers’ discussions, which were booked up, so it is extremely disappointing.”

Mr Gray said a replacement event would be considered although no plans had been made at this stage.

A co-hosted event with the Oil and Gas Authority, probably in April, would give firms in the oil and gas sector the chance to build relationships, said Mr Gray, but EEEGR is also considering putting on an extra renewable energy event to allow that sector to catch up.

Organisers had cancelled the first day’s programme early on Wednesday morning and took the decision at noon to abandon the evening’s gala dinner and next day’s conference.

Mr Gray said: “We’ve made the decision with great reluctance because SNS2018 is an important event in the energy sector calendar. But safety comes first and we felt that, in the face of some of the worst weather we’ve experienced in many years, we had little option but to cancel the entire event. It takes almost a year to plan SNS and I can’t express how disappointed the EEEGR team and everyone who helps to make this happen are.”

Mr Gray said the event cost upwards of £100,000 to put on and while it was insured organisers would have to check to see the scale of the coverage.

EEEGR will contact paying delegates and exhibitors and will let exhibitors know when it is safe to collect their stands.

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