Oil&nonoil – the forum for the fuel network and mobility services
This exhibition (9-11 October, Veronafiere) is the key event for the entire “energy, fuel and mobility services” industry. Oil&nonoil-S&TC is an opportunity to bring together ideas and proposals for new technological solutions. It is also an opportunity to promote business between innovation-oriented companies and thousands of specialist operators looking for efficiency and savings. There have already been numerous expressions of interest from potential exhibitors.
Elena Amadini, Veronafiere, oversees Oil&nonoil with the close attention that is due to a field that feels the effects of the major changes that are affecting the environment, the way we get around for business and pleasure, the policy choices, and the constant need for innovation in the delivery of essential services.
What new developments does the next Oil&nonoil have in store?
First of all, I wish to confirm that Oil&nonoil will run from October 9th to 11th and will be held at the Veronafiere exhibition centre. Before talking about the new developments, I would just like to say how satisfying it is to have had so many exhibitors, both old and new, asking to book spaces for their booths for next October. The companies exhibiting at Oil&nonoil know that they will be able to meet specialized and interested operators and entrepreneurs there, people who have the capacity to make business decisions. In the next few days, we will start taking bookings, encouraged by the positive trend that has emerged over the past two editions of the fair. Those who book promptly will be able to benefit from early bird rates allowing appreciable savings. The general economic recovery and the level of attention we are getting are two signals that leave us confident that we will be able to greatly improve on the results recorded the last time this event was held in Verona; in 2016 we had 140 exhibitors and welcomed over 4,300 trade operators.
So how are you planning to respond to this clear level of interest?
Oil&nonoil, which is held each year but alternates between Rome and Verona, has adopted different formulas so as to be able to better meet the needs of exhibitors, visitors and industry associations. It is an unusual event, in that it thrives on technological innovation, and on the demand coming from thousands of entrepreneurs, but on the other hand it is influenced by the political choices and dynamics of the complex energy market. Organizing this event means building a service based on communication, education, information and current affairs; it is a question of enriching and adapting, all the time, a model that is already established.
In Verona, the exhibitors will include leading names in all the market sectors within the fuel distribution industry, as well as other protagonists that, from year to year, have seen Oil&nonoil as a means of proposing alternative fuels and innovative mobility solutions. We want to continue bringing together the production proposals and the reforms that are accompanying the modernization of the network, and affecting the everyday life of millions of motorists. We wouldn’t talk about renewal if we couldn’t rely on technical solutions that allow new forms of payment, and if service stations do not offer new fuels or recharging areas, or enrich their range of services.
Things are already moving, and October will be an excellent time for an initial evaluation of the situation.
The network is undergoing a large and significant transition. This hasn’t taken us by surprise, and we are ready to work with the new protagonists. By the end of August we should have a snapshot of the sector and of the network following the closure of incompatible facilities. In the meantime, as an effect of international pollution reduction targets, the use of natural gas in its liquid (LNG) and gaseous (CNG) state is growing. We will not overlook the gradual growth in the use of electricity, and will be taking stock of its advantages and limitations, and its impact on network investments. Following Volkswagen’s announcement of its plan to produce electric vehicles, we must of course examine the effects that this will have on mobility services.
The new protagonists of the network are independent entrepreneurs, who are developing a growing awareness of their fundamental role, organizing themselves, forming alliances, and trying to create common platforms; they are the expression of an agile new business culture that believes in innovation and focuses on the needs of the end user.
The number of oil companies operating on the Italian market has more than halved compared to ten years ago, and the network “lives” thanks to the hundreds of small operators that believe that business is about more than just the profits to be made on fuel. In October, we will very probably be analyzing the choices made by the companies that have driven the market in the past year, and it will start to be possible to see the results obtained by the companies that manage thousands of plants and intend to enhance these by implementing new policies for the development of the non-oil and service sector.
The non-oil sector is a dream that is yet to come true …
We are still right at the beginning, although 63% of car wash facilities are now found in service stations and also bars are doing more and more. We have always tried not to neglect this area, but the failure of the non-oil sector to flourish in Italy is the result of many endogenous and exogenous factors. In many European countries, including Germany, the closure of shops and supermarkets at certain times of the day and on certain days makes convenience stores at service stations a point of reference for basic purchases; in Italy, this has not happened and cannot happen. Another contributing factor has been the previously rigid rules on service station opening hours. Now, however, the conditions are in place to change the picture and take advantage of new opportunities. It will take planning, and new ways need to be found, but our exhibition is the place where voices can come together, experiences can be intertwined, and we can press politics on common issues .
I would just like to comment briefly on the part of the non-oil sector that, on the other hand, is doing well. The car wash sector is showing strong signs of recovery and we wish to offer this industry an opportunity to meet the most active investors: several car wash companies have already requested exhibition spaces. As for the activity of bars and restaurants, we will offer a forum for promoting and discussing this sector, so as to be able to evaluate and give out some concrete signals.
Will you be doing a lot in the way of conferences and meetings?
For us “education and information” is not a slogan, but an expression that reflects one of the pillars of Oil&nonoil. Over the three days we will be offering over thirty opportunities to take part in meetings, seminars and workshops. Last year, in Rome, one visitor in two took advantage of these meetings. We pay considerable attention to current affairs and also to the demand for technical information.
We will not be reducing our level of attention to the issue of legality, and plan to assess whether the law enforcement measures taken at the end of 2017 have managed to reduce the level of criminal infiltration, a worrying phenomenon for honest entrepreneurs, who are seriously damaged by unfair competition. In this regard, we enjoy the support, also practical, of all the industry associations.
Research centers, media partners, individual experts will help us to create a programme focusing on technical and regulatory issues and on ways of evaluating the development of the sector.