The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) trade show in Houston, Texas, is one of the largest professional conventions in the United States. With an average annual attendance that can exceed 80,000 the conference and its associated trade show are excellent advertising venues for a company engaged in any aspect of the offshore petroleum industry. Well executed, attention-getting OTC Exhibits will help your company stand out among the thousands of vendors and exhibitors that flock to the OTC each year.
About the OTC
The first OTC trade show was held in 1969. Attendance at the annual event grew steadily throughout the 1970s as the American oil industry boomed and reached a peak of over 100,000 attendees in the early 1980s. The OTC is Houston’s largest convention and since 2003 has been conducted at the Reliant Center, a convention facility with dozens of meeting rooms and over 700,000 square feet of space for business and trade exhibits. The trade show draws in nearly 2,500 businesses from all areas of the petroleum industry including drilling, transport, production and environmental, and countless OTC Exhibits.
OTC Sponsors and Supporters
The OTC is sponsored and supported by nearly two dozen of the biggest names in engineering, science and the petroleum industry including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Petroleum Institute, ASTM International, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association.
Exhibitors at the OTC
Trade shows are an effective marketing and business-building opportunity because they allow a business representative to make personal contact with many interested parties and prospective clients. A good trade show exhibit is always important but when faced with several acres of possible competitors and other businesses vying for attention it is all the more important to have an intriguing, eye-catching display that will capture the attention of those passing by. The best displays usually have an eye-catching business logo, ask a question or offer something to people who stop to take a closer look.
Some displays distribute product samples, include an activity to encourage interaction or even hand out a snack or drink to encourage someone to stay and find out more about a product, service or organization. While many companies use the same basic design at every trade show other companies create a new display for each event to highlight a new product or a different aspect of their business. Many businesses also find it to be cost effective to hire a professional company specializing in exhibit design rather than producing their own exhibit.
More Tips for OTC Exhibits
Make sure your booth is staffed continuously during the trade show. At a large multi-day event like the OTC this can be challenging but having competent, knowledgeable personnel available throughout the entire event is a key factor for a successful exhibit.
Encourage visitors to your exhibit to sign in with names, the entity represented, email address and phone number as a way of adding to a potential client database. If possible note which visitors seem really interested in your product or service and which are just killing time between technical presentations.
Have brochures, samples, handouts and business cards to put something with your company? name on it into the hands of potential customers.
If your business is involved in any aspect of offshore petroleum production and is looking for a way to reach potential customers and clients there isn? a better place to advertise than the OTC. With a well planned exhibit your business can find big opportunities at one of the biggest trade shows in the country.
About Peggy Swords
Peggy Swords is the founder and president of Excalibur Exhibits, a $10 million Houston-based exhibit manufacturing and production corporation. Excalibur Exhibits designs, builds, delivers, assembles and disassembles as many as 300 exhibits per year. Swords was named as a finalist for NAWBO Houston 2003 Woman Business Owner of the Year and 2005 Enterprising Woman of the Year Finalist. Additionally, Excalibur Exhibits is a five time member of the Inc 5000, a three time member of the LSU100 and a two time member of the Houston Fast 100, a list of fastest growing privately held companies.