Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Houston getting our own "Energy SXSW" conference!

Four years ago I started calling for Houston to develop its own version of Austin's globally-popular SXSW mega-conference, except around all types of energy technology, including alternative energy (arguments here and here).  It would be an incredible economic development, city branding, global PR, and tourism asset for the city while cementing our status as the Energy Capital no matter how the technology shifts.  And if we didn't do it, somebody else would, and we'd be kicking ourselves for not seizing the opportunity when we had the chance.  Over the years I've brought it up with various officials, but the Parker administration and others finally pushed it forward and last week we had the announcement of the Total Energy USA conference for October 2012 (they even picked good weather!).  It'll start small and hopefully grow quickly from there, but I'm really excited to see it finally getting off of the ground.

Oddly, I can't find the original press release online that was emailed to me, so I'm including it below, including the informative FAQ at the end.  Hat tip to Andy and Josh (and Annise! - most first names are semi-anonymous, but maybe not that one...  ;-).  Thanks guys.

New energy tradeshow to launch in Houston in 2012
June 23, 2011

HOUSTON—The nation’s energy capital will host a groundbreaking new tradeshow next year bringing together professionals from the full range of energy industry sectors to discuss the current and future landscape of this evolving field.

Total Energy USA is expected to draw approximately 7,500 attendees to Houston October 16-18, 2012 for the largest tradeshow of its kind in the country.

Unlike other industry events that have a narrower focus or may be aligned to certain interests, Total Energy USA will provide a balanced forum with an opportunity for all energy sectors—fossil, nuclear, renewables, and cross-cutting sectors like energy-efficiency—to be represented. The resulting mix will create new business opportunities for participants as they discuss how to balance locally available resources, economics, reliability and environmental impact when making important energy decisions.

“For more than a century, Houston has been the hub for petrochemical production and innovation,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “The creation of Total Energy USA puts us one step closer to being the world’s energy capital—not just in traditional fuels but in the future of alternative energy.”

Total Energy USA is being produced by VP International. Partners in the initiative include the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greater Houston Partnership and the Houston Technology Center.

“Total Energy USA is based on the principle that addressing our nation’s energy challenges will require that we consider all energy options, conventional and non-conventional, along with energy efficiency and reducing energy use,” said Vinnie Polito, managing director for VP International, the event’s producer. By opening up the field and collaborating with associations, media and organizations across the renewable energy spectrum, Polito believes that Total Energy USA will answer the need for an industry event that “elevates the dialogue, broadens the opportunities and paints the complete energy picture.”

“This event represents a unique opportunity for Houston to capitalize on our knowledge base in the energy industry,” said Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Energy is the backbone of our economy and Total Energy USA will offer our local companies a home-field advantage for networking and deal-making with firms from around the world.”

"To meet our energy needs we must look at all options - fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable sources of power - as well as harnessing the power of smart energy to empower consumers to make informed decisions about how they purchase and use energy," said John Ragan, NRG Energy regional president, Texas. "By bringing all of these together, Total Energy USA will help build understanding of sound, energy-related decisions."

What is Total Energy USA?
Total Energy USA will be an annual trade event that will bring together all of the energy sectors to provide a comprehensive look at the overarching, integrated industry. This business-to-business tradeshow and educational conference will be the largest of its kind in the United States.

What's unique about this event?
Total Energy USA is the only event in the U.S. that brings traditional fuels and energy efficiency together with clean and renewable energy technologies. Furthermore, unlike other events that focus on a particular segment of the industry, Total Energy will offer a balanced forum for delegates to make their own decisions and for sponsors to showcase their products on a level playing field.

When and where?
The inaugural event will take place October 16-18, 2012 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.

Who's involved in creating Total Energy USA?
VP International is producing Total Energy USA. Partners in the initiative include the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston Technology Center and the Technology Transition Corporation.

Who will be the exhibitors at Total Energy USA?
The event is expected to draw approximately 400 exhibitors affiliated with the energy industry, including associations, builders/architects, component equipment suppliers, equipment manufacturers, project developers and operators and professionals in fields such as renewable energy development, solar design, wind services and more.

Who will attend?
An estimated 7,500 energy professionals, leaders, researchers, academics and others interested in our energy future including architects, builders, community leaders, developers and energy consultants, government officials, power producers, landowners, large energy users, media, oil and gas suppliers and more. Total Energy USA is designed specifically for those working in the energy industry. Attendance estimates are based on the performance of similar tradeshows previously held around the world.

Why is this happening in Houston?
Houston has a long history in the petroleum industry. But today the nation's fourth-largest city and nucleus of the energy sector is focused on the total energy landscape, from petrochemicals to wind power. No other city offers the combination of energy-related expertise, resources and technology—or the commitment to leveraging opportunities for development, commercialization and networking.

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At 10:29 PM, June 28, 2011, Blogger Ryosynada said...

This a historic first step for Houston. Times change, oil will run out eventually. Good on those involved for not letting anyone beat us to the punch!

At 1:42 AM, June 30, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooh I thought SXSW was involved because of the title. How misleading!

At 9:17 AM, June 30, 2011, Blogger c|young said...

awesome news! please keep us posted on developments!


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