By Sarah Byrne

KICKING off for the 35th time, the Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference (AOG) will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) from 24 to 26 February.

With around 12,000 attendees expected to visit the PCEC to see the 500 exhibitors from 22 different countries, the event is expected to draw many visitors to the city and showcase what Perth has to offer.

PCEC, located in the Perth central business district (CBD) provides attendees with easy access to the exhibition and conference.

While AOG is offering a range of networking events for attendees, for those who have extra time to explore the city there is plenty to see.

In recent years Perth’s hospitality scene has come into its own and has a lot to offer.

Foodies will find plenty of restaurants and bars in the CBD, but if they are looking to explore a bit further, Leederville and Fremantle also have a lot to offer.

Located in Cathedral Square is the city’s recently redeveloped 19th century Treasury Building, now known as the State Buildings, where a range of restaurants, bars and shops offer visitors something different.

The building has a buzzing atmosphere and plenty to offer, with Petition’s wine bar, beer corner and kitchen a great place for a few drinks and a bite to eat.

For those who are looking for somewhere more formal, Post, a restaurant which can also be found in the State Buildings, dishes up great food and has excellent service.

Live entertainment and plenty to see and do will be waiting for attendees who head down to the Chevron Festival Gardens which runs from mid-February until early March.

Located at the recently developed Elizabeth Quay, the festival boasts an eclectic and diverse program in 2016, according to program manager Sarah Dennehy.

Vistors who are extending their stay in Perth should take advantage of wine, chocolate and cheese tasting in the Swan Valley and South West region.

AOG attendees not wanting to venture much further than the event will have plenty to do with networking events held most days and into the evening.

New to AOG in 2016 is a golf day which will be held at the world renowned Joondalup Resort Golf Course on Monday, 22 February.

Speaking to Oil & Gas Australia, Diversified Communications Australia event director Bill Hare said organisers have been considering a golf day for a number of years and felt the demand is there.

Subsea welcome drinks showcasing the Titanic Exhibition will be held on Tuesday, 23 February.

The following evening the official opening party kicks off the event where attendees will enjoy an evening of great food, drinks and music in a relaxed garden party setting.

Live entertainment and a three course dinner will be enjoyed by those attending the AOG official dinner on the Thursday evening which will be held in PCEC’s Bellevue Ballroom.

AOG event organisers said if last year’s dinner is anything to go by, it promises to be a stellar networking event.

Rounding up a week of networking and entertainment is the event’s annual AOG women high tea event which will be held on Friday, 26 February from 1pm, also in the Bellevue Ballroom.

This event promises to be equally educational, entertaining and inspiring.

Several networking zones will be located in the exhibition hall offering refreshments and a more casual networking setting for attendees to meet and share ideas.

The AOG Oyster Bar is the major networking space on the show floor, an ideal place for meeting people and features the ‘King of Oysters’ Jerry Fraser.

Andy’s Bratwurst Hut will feature on the show floor and a Paella Bar will be located in the Subsea Zone, offering freshly prepared seafood paella.

Mr Hare said his highlight of the event is the face-to-face interaction at networking zones and at the more formal networking events throughout the week.

Marking the end of a week of conference, exhibitions and networking, the Wärtsilä $10,000 cash prize draw winner will be announced on the Friday afternoon.