Video streaming of Session 2.2 "Hydrogen" (© 2021 Philip Wilson / EITEP)

With around 1,000 participants and an above-average number of participants from pipeline operators, the Pipeline Technology Conference (ptc) is a unique meeting place for the exchange of operator knowledge across national borders and continents. This defining characteristic was confirmed again this year at the purely online ptc.

A total of 861 conference delegates from 64 different countries attended the online version of the 16th Pipeline Technology Conference from March 15-18, 2021. Two-thirds of the participants came from pipeline operators around the world. In addition to the traditionally strong participation from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, this year's registration included many representatives from the U.S. and Canada.

Dennis Fandrich as Director Conferences together with Marian Ritter as Director Exhibitions opened the conference part of the virtual ptc on March 16 with a short review of the last face-to-face event and the wish to meet again next year live in the conference, at the exhibition and at the evening events.

"We all had to learn a lot of new things during the last 12 months. I am sure that I am not the only one for whom home office from time to time means taking multi-tasking to a whole new level. But it’s working and we all know that this pandemic made the whole world to adapt to the new challenges of remote work and restrictions on the freedom of movement. Many of the presentations will pay special attention to the lessons learned from this unprecedented pandemic situation," Dennis Fandrich said at the opening.

Complementing this, Marian Ritter added, "Even with our best efforts, we cannot completely replace a real event, but that has never been our goal. In a digital environment, the objective must be to hold a digital event, and we think we have succeeded well."

The 16th Pipeline Technology Conference took the key success factors of a face-to-face event and transferred them to the virtual space:

  1. Knowledge transfer in the form of plenary sessions, panel discussions and technical presentations with Q&A sessions. All content was continuously available online via the ptc platform and will be transferred to the "ptc Pipeline Open Knowledge Base" for free use afterwards. Nearly 100 presenters participated in 28 sessions in up to five parallel tracks.
  2. Networking between the conference participants in different constellations. An AI-powered matchmaking algorithm and a variety of search filters made it easier than ever to find other attendees with matching interests. Participants booked appointments to more than 900 individual video chats that also always took local time zones into account.
  3. Technology showcase, where companies competitively showcased their products and services to talk with virtual visitors about solutions to their specific problems. 33 virtual sponsors and exhibitors were represented.

This year, the top-class ptc Advisory Committee chaired by Heinz Watzka and Dirk Strack again ensured the high quality of the conference program.

Lars Bach, CEO at Danish Oil Pipe summarized his impressions as follows: "The online ptc does not disappoint. Even with all the speakers presenting online the messages, challenges and new technologies come across. The speakers are really conveying their messages to improve and help our businesses. All sessions are very informative, and the conference provides excellent opportunities for networking with colleagues in the industry."

Ulrich Schneider, Business Development Manager Continental Europe at KTN / ROSEN Group from Norway: "This was the first big online event which was really enjoyable. Everything was extremely well organized. The platform was easy to use. Great papers and discussions. Separate meetings were easy to organize. Thanks a lot, to the EITEP team and everybody involved."

The results of this year's ptc will again be transferred to the ptc Pipeline Open Knowledge Base. In addition to the abstracts and papers from the last 15 years of ptc, many recordings of the presentations will also be published this year. The database is freely accessible via the ptc website.

The upcoming 17th Pipeline Technology Conference will adopt many elements of the online event and will be held as a hybrid event in Berlin, March 7-10, 2022. The call for papers will open in May.


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