A great behind the scenes interview highlighting the benefits of attending an Oil and Gas trade show, from an industry insider.
Mark: Hey, folks. Let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.
A four-part series where we went to Longview, Texas and spent some time with Eli Logan and the whole Texas Classic Productions gang. No bullshit, they put on one of the best oil and gas trade show series in the world. So, if you have an interest in learning more about oil and gas or if you have a product or service that you’re trying to sell in oil and gas, you need to check this out.
We’ll also make sure to throw up some links on each one of these shows so that you can get some special rates when attending. So, enjoy.
All right. Today, we’re in beautiful Longview, Texas at Texas Classic Productions with Eli.
How are you doing Eli?
Eli: Fantastic. Thank you.
Mark: Yeah. Eli, in case you don’t know runs one of best organized trade show organizations in oil and gas. And today, we’re going to talk a little bit about – you have an upcoming show in April, right?
Eli: I do. It’s the Ark-La-Tex Oilfield Expo. It’s April the 1st in the downtown convention center in Shreveport.
Mark: All right. And so, as usual you only allow oil and gas people. And one of the things that make Eli’s show different than any other show is when you’re out there, you’re with your peers, there’s only oil and gas people out there. Let’s talk a little bit about that.
Eli: We arrived at this concept because we wanted to protect the investment of the exhibitors and create an industry trade show and not one that was open to the public not only can we create better value for our exhibitors, but when you get to the oil and gas community together, you know, all that collaboration and all of the networking that goes on provides for better results for both parties.
Mark: Okay. Now, besides one of the unique things is that you only allow oil and gas people into these trade shows, the other thing that I really like about your shows is it puts a lot of emphasis on the attendees, not just the exhibitors.
So, let’s talk about that a little bit. You don’t have speaking engagements, you don’t have sessions, let’s talk about that.
Eli: The reason why we do that is that we don’t want the exhibitors to have to compete for the attention of the attendees. And so, we do kind of a grassroots style trade show where it’s just focus on buying and selling. And so, there’s nothing but advantages to participation and no one really has to kind of make the calculation and see is this really worth it for our company to participate whether it’d be to send attendees or to participate on an exhibitor level. They don’t have to make the calculation, there is value there.
And it’s because we structure things so that it’s only people that are currently employed in the industry can attend. And, you know, when you bring those attendees in, you know, we want them to have purchasing authority now or sometime in the future or they’re looking to a solution to a problem or they’re there to look at the cutting edge technology that is employed in the oil and gas industry today. And so, if we set up that environment there, we can guarantee success for all parties.
Mark: Yeah. And you touched on some good points there on the benefits to attending. Let’s talk about that a little bit more. You know doing this all these years, what are the benefits do you see that actually help the attendees?
Eli: You know we serve attendees, you know, sometimes formally sometimes informally. I like to grab people, you know, my badge doesn’t identify my role and so, they know they’re talking to trade show staff, but they do not know they’re talking to the president of the company.
And so, I ask them, you know, what do you think about the show, what can we do to improve, what brought you out here, how far did you travel, things like that.
What it does, it kind of gives me a profile and we can share that information with other attendees to kind of give them something to identify with, but it also helps us with our exhibitors.
Now, the benefits of attending. You can come and you can find the solution to a problem. You can network, you can build a partnership with somebody. If you represent a manufacturer, you can find a distribution channel. If you’re looking to recruit, you can find a group of oil and gas professionals to basically choose from. You can make more sales calls, you know, in a matter of hours than what you could do in months because we bring the entire industry together.
You know some of the – some of the craziest things that I’ve heard actually make perfect sense, you know, why did you come to this trade show here today. They were looking for a solution to a problem and a product that they were developing and, you know, when they explained it to me, they had a solution to a problem, they just had a few booth they were looking over, plus they’re looking to kind of help control some of their costs. And they made all the contacts required to kind of complete this project at our trade show.
Mark: Wow. So they were able to find what they needed to help their business which didn’t help the other person’s business which then help everybody.
Eli: It does. You know it increases the value for the end consumer as well or the person – the person or company that ends up buying this product, you know, receives the benefit of the networking that they’re able to do with our trade show. So, it’s almost incomprehensible how to kind of define the complete value of a trade show because, you know, the end user ends up benefitting the two companies that partnered up on a product end up benefitting.
And, you know, it completes, you know, the – to develop a product it takes a lot of time and work effort and so, you know, I’ve always heard that, you know, many hands make light work. And so, when you bring together multiple sources or resources, you know, you get a better product and, you know, everybody benefits.
Mark: And, you mentioned something too that we talked about earlier. So there’s a lot of manufacturers out there that might actually be in the market for manufacturing rep and the trade show would be a good place to make that connection.
Eli: It is. You know that’s actually a significant portion of the interaction that goes on is that manufacturers go and they want to showcase not only their products in the industry, but they’re also looking for channels in which they can distribute their products. And so, you know, supply companies and even smaller manufacturers who want to carry something to supplement their product line, those connections are all made at trade show as well.
Mark: Yeah. And then, we also talked a little bit about learning and you know as well as I do in this industry it’s constantly changing. Let’s talk about that a little bit, you know, how as an attendee does attending the show help you learn what’s going on?
Eli: You know a lot of people feel like because there are no conferences or no seminars going on at our trade shows, it means that we are kind of inhibiting the educational aspects and we’re not, there’s nothing that prohibits an exhibitor from making a technical presentation from their booth, they just have to choose to do so.
And so, you know, what that does is creates not only an opportunity to showcase product, but you can educate the industry. So, you know, the educational opportunity is almost limitless because you can go and see companies that are developing, you know, new fracking fluids, you can talk about people who manage your supply chain for you, we even had unmanned aerial drones basically for the oil and gas industry make a representation at the show and showcase and educate, you know, the equivalent of a consumer or somebody in the oil and gas industry who could possibly use that service.
So, even the possibilities for education are almost limitless at a trade show.
Mark: Yeah. And I have to admit, we go to a lot of Eli’s shows and that’s one of the main reasons we go. We need to stay on the cutting edge of the changes and either new technology and process and I see that at Eli’s shows all the time.
So, Eli, before we go, if you were to give a couple of last tips to an attendee to make sure they really got a value out of their experience, what would that be?
Eli: Have a plan, come as early as you can, stay as late as you can. A lot of people will grab a map or program and, you know, there’s a school of thought that says come in and hit the booths that you want to hit and then just leave.
You’re completely losing out on most of the value that you’ll receive. You know industry standard is a little over two hours at a trade show no matter what size because people come in with a plan.
At our trade shows when we track these types of things, you know the average, you know, amount of time spent is a little over six hours. And so, what that means is that most people see the value in coming as early as they can, pre-register. Pre-register is going to save you a ton of time because you don’t have to wait in line, present your credentials, you’ve done that in advance. Every trade show we produce has the ability to pre-register.
So, you know, if I were to go through it chronologically, I would say pre-register, download a map or a floor plan, kind of plan out where you want to visit, but also leave enough time where you can visit the other places because, you know, you may not recognize the company name or the product or the service that they provide, but once you see it in the flesh, they are at the trade show. You need to allocate some time to be able to take — take some time to get to know that product or learn about that opportunity as well.
Mark: Yeah. And we do that, we walk the entire floor, so I suggest you do it as well. In fact, we do it multiple times.
All right. So, if people want to know learn about more about Texas Classic Productions your show, where would they go?
Eli: They can either go to www.texasclassicproductions.com or www.oilfield-expo.com.
Mark: All right. Folks, I hope this helped. We will see you next time.