Last month, our managing director, Dr Peter Black, and Sales and Marketing Manager, Kirsty Armitage, made their usual trip to Houston, Texas, to attend the Petroleum Network Education Conference (PNEC).
In my last blog post I discussed why attending events in person is as important as ever, but it’s equally important to choose the right event. With that in mind, I thought it would be useful to get Kirsty’s feedback on PNEC.
Q1: Why do EnergySys attend PNEC each year?
EnergySys has been going to PNEC for a long time. It’s a great conference for a number of reasons. First, it’s a good size. There are enough attendees to keep you busy, but without feeling like you didn’t get a chance to speak to most of them. Also, it’s a quite targeted audience, all working within the data management sphere, and it offers us an excellent opportunity to focus our message, to network, and to catch up with old friends. The technical program is also a pull for this event. Peter tries to speak at PNEC every year, where we hope to deliver an interesting and informative mix of topics.
Q2: How did Peter’s presentation go?
Peter presented a review of the published literature on Digital Oilfield, summarising its progress, or lack thereof, over the last 10 years. It was an interesting topic to cover. At a practical level, we were also interested to see what information we could find to support our campaign to cut the costs of hydrocarbon accounting. I think Peter’s presentation was really well received: we had a number of people stop by the stand afterwards to chat further. Most seemed particularly intrigued by his suggestion that digital oilfield might have been a mistake! Pretty bold, and his talk got a mention in the closing summary.
Q3: What was the highlight of PNEC?
Definitely the Shiner (a local beer)! We don’t get that over here and it was really good to be reunited with that. The food wasn’t bad either…and the Galleria Shopping Mall was just down the road…
More seriously, aside from meeting up with a number of prospects and reacquainting ourselves with some old faces at the conference, it was a good opportunity to spend time with our US Partner, Brian Eukel of Pumpjack Online. We have some really cool things planned with Brian, so watch this space.
It was also great to see people reacting to our message so well. We like to think the ability to change EnergySys so easily is revolutionary in our business, but it’s even better to see the way people react so positively to that message.
Q4: Did you and Peter get up to anything fun whilst you were there (not work related)?
Texas is my spirit animal, so naturally all fun came in the shape Margaritas and grilled meat. Oh, and playing ‘Chicken’ across 6 lanes of traffic to get lunch. Houston isn’t built for walking.
Q5: Were there any drawbacks of attending?
None that I can think of. PNEC is such a great place to network, though it was certainly quieter this year for obvious reasons. We had some really useful conversations with lots of interesting people. Collaboration is definitely becoming a common theme, and that can’t be a bad thing for the industry.
Q6: Do you think attending events in person is important when we can meet and collaborate online?
I think it is still important, but there is a time and a place to attend events in person. You could spend your whole life and budget many times over going to oil and gas events, and see zero return.
It’s not just about leads, but about the quality of conversation, how much mileage you can get from the event, and the networking. Over the years we’ve tried and tested a number of events and have hand-picked the ones, like PNEC, that give us the best return.
I strongly believe in the merits of using digital events to reach a large global audience, but sometimes you just can’t beat a good old fashioned face-to-face conversation.
EnergySys will be back at PNEC in 2017. They will be exhibiting at Booth 300. If you’d like more information on the conference, or any other events EnergySys are attending, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.