What challenge(s) did the show face?
This year we celebrated 50 years of the Offshore Technology Conference. We wanted to mark the year by celebrating with various activities, but we also knew that the oil and gas industry is still coming back from the last 2-years of downturn. We had to create a meaningful day to celebrate the event's milestone, but remain cognizant of the challenges the industry faced which many companies are still recovering from.
We also faced the continued challenge of bringing attendees to the NRG Arena exhibit floor.
What was the Best of Show solution(s)?
We decided to show our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, sponsoring organizations, the offshore industry at large, there was a reason to celebrate. We held a high-level opening ceremony in the NRG Stadium where 1,100 people attended. We invited people to attend that part of the celebration without a badge, we had to navigate security differently in order to keep it safe and orderly. The attendees followed a procession of bag pipers from the stadium through the parkway to the NRG Center to a ceremonial ribbon pulling. We hosted a ticketed lunch, called the Legacy Lunch, of which many invited guests attended from our long standing partners, sponsoring organizations, long time exhibitors and people who had attended all 50 OTC's sat at a special table and were recognized. A panel discussion featuring other high level speakers from in and outside the industry spoke about the future of energy. OTC staff and NRG Park staff had 45 minutes to clean a room from the luncheon to the panel discussion. We all put on our gloves and cleaned dishes, picked up table clothes, emptied the tables in under 25 minutes! The day ended with a party outside featuring a Texas cover band. We also invited local graffiti artist, @GONZO247 to paint an 8x8x8x8 cube and commissioned Freeman AV to build a giant turntable on the stage so he could paint it from the inside out. With the 50th activities going on from morning until 8pm, business as usual still went on during OTC. Technical sessions, breakfasts and luncheons, exhibit floor open and bustling.
As for the Arena exhibit floor, we knew the hype of GONZO would be felt around the show after his appearance on Monday. He came back on Wednesday in the Arena on a stage where he painted a mural of the #OTC50 he had gotten from our attendees. It was a collage of their photos. We also had commemorative coins made marking the 50th celebration that could only be picked up in the Arena. It drew loads of traffic to the arena in 2018 and we were really pleased with the results.
And what were the overall results and impact on the show?
The results of the show was a new energy in the offshore industry as well as an appreciation for where the industry has come in the last 50 years and where it will go. We were featured in the news, both live and in print. We have received great comments and feedback. Many people who were unable to get to the Arena have sent emails asking for a coin to be sent to them to help them celebrate the 50th with a keepsake. We will have the coins again in 2019!
What innovative practices, customer service and/or networking environments occurred to make it the best show ever?
We had 4 videos made, one about the history of the offshore industry, made in-house. 3 videos were recorded from local government officials thanking and welcoming OTC, attendees and exhibitors to Houston and to Texas. We had our social media engagement heightened both internally and with the hashtag OTC50. Our attendees, board and others were quick to use the hashtag to either be featured in GONZO's mural or to recognize the excitement of what is OTC and being a part of it. Something as simple as the commemorative coin created a fun buzz as well.
Here are links to some of the videos created onsite by our social media team:
View these awesome videos:
Picture of GONZO 24/7 Cube (This picture is of one side of the cube that local Houston artist GONZO 24/7 painted onsite at OTC.)
Did you initiate an “out of the box” idea?
All of the above with the no badge entrance to the stadium, special VIP attendance and recognition, @GONZO247, commemorative coins, we changed the look of the Spotlight on New Technology Award given to the 17 innovative winners (one of which was a small business winner and first time OTC exhibitor). For OTC 50 in 2018, we set the bar of a new standard for our event. Thinking outside the Oil & Gas box and reaching a new audience while appreciating the one that has been with us since the beginning.Show Details
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April 30 - May 2, 2018
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