The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) was started in 1969 and is held annually in Houston. It is considered the largest oil and gas industry event in the world and is one of the largest trade shows held annually in the United States.
In fact, OTC is among the 10 largest meetings in the United States in terms of attendance. More than 100 countries are represented each year. The goal of OTC is to “advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.”
OTC is an amazing combination of exhibitions and technical sessions. This year, OTC featured 44 technical sessions, offered nearly 3,580 technical papers and had 2,470 companies exhibiting – and the exhibits are nothing short of amazing. Two-story exhibits are not uncommon. In the mornings, baristas can often be found serving coffee to clients and in the afternoons it is not uncommon to see bartenders serving cocktails while bands play live music as each exhibit work to attract clients to their “booth.” Clients can get comfortable on couches, sip coffee (or beer) and watch flat screen TVs while presentations are given that rival any technical talk are featured.
Speaking of technical talks, one can hear a presentation on a wide range of innovations regarding science, technology and safety. With technical sessions such as “Well Cementing,” “Reservoir Monitoring and Characterization,” “Recent Advances in Offshore Geotechnics,” “Big Data and Data Analytics,” “Subsea Processing, Intervention, Abandonment and Decommissioning,” “Well Logging,” and many, many others, there is more than enough to satisfy everybody’s thirst for knowledge.
The recession in the oil and gas industry has certainly impacted the attendance at OTC over the years. OTC had about 65,000 attendees this year. That total was down from around 68,000 last year, and considerably lower than the record-breaking number of 108,000 in 2014.
However, if history is any indication, expect a bounce back in the near future.