While many trade shows are held annually, certain exhibitions and shows only come around once every few years. For exhibitors, this adds weight and importance to their presence at these shows, as well as a drive and focus to ‘get it right’.

The 2011 World Petroleum Congress, the ‘Olympian Event of the Oil and Gas Industry’, was held in Doha, Qatar. Held every three years, this was the first time since its establishment in 1933 that the Congress was hosted in the Middle East. As the host sponsor, Qatar Petroleum needed to make a good impression.

This impression was made not only through displays and presentations, but also through a number of ‘softer’, more subtle elements. The Qatar Petroleum Youth Lounge and the Social Responsibility Global Village were two such components.

The Youth Lounge was a place for young congress-goers to meet, network and share ideas and information. Design-wise, the emphasis was on making the lounge as open and inviting as possible to allow people to make connections, maximize face-time and hear presentations.

The Social Responsibility Global Village was another key project for the Congress. The village showcased twelve world-class projects which were best practice examples of cooperation between NGOs, the community and the petroleum industry with the aim of advancing human development.
A common design theme for both projects was that they needed to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. As a result, sustainable materials were used throughout both stands, including grass, bamboo and chipboard - often in extremely creative ways.

Despite the occasional creative challenges, both projects were successfully completed and enjoyed by participants and visitors alike.