OTC (Offshore Technology Conference) is held annually during the first week of May and we were fortunate to join the thousands of oil and gas professionals who converged in Houston for what has become the largest oil and gas sector trade show in the world. In addition to the millions of working professionals in our hometown, Houston has become an international hub for the energy sector with over 5,000 energy related firms in the greater Houston area.
OTC also ranks among the 200 largest trade shows held annually in the U.S. Due to the depressed and still ingering global oil prices, this years attendance was down from a record-setting 108,300 attendees in 2014 to 94,700. However, there were indications that much more decision makers were in attendance than in previous years.
Despite the lower attendance, the actual number of exhibitors essentially increased by 114 along with 15,000 extra square feet of increasing space. In a savvy public relations move, the OTC granted permission for over 1,300 recently laid off energy employees to attend Thursday’s conference events free, in order to connect with potential employers.
Since most of the decision-makers in attendance have been resigned to waiting out the downturn, the usual sense to do business that normally accompanies the OTC was absent. There was, however, the general consensus that the worst part of the depressed energy market has passed. The conference focused in on a variety of key issues relating to the offshore energy industry, including recent advances in technology, solutions incorporating safety and environmental concerns, and detailed summaries of regulations and economic conditions that can affect the offshore energy industry.
As participants, our team members at Convergent1 were able to connect with numerous industry leaders and gather some statistics and opinions about both the immediate and long-term forecast for the energy and oil industries. We’ve compiled the results and analyzed them with the help of some of our friends in the energy and oil industry.
The results of our surveys provided valuable insight to the general public as well as to many of our contacts and new friends that we meet last week. We’d like to thank everyone that we had the please of speaking with, as well as who participated in our surveys.
We are still analyzing the results and will share the findings this week on the C1 blog in a special series. Stay tuned for more of our findings and observations from our week at OTC 2015.