How did Wind O&M Dallas begin, and how has it changed over the years?
Wind O&M Dallas (April 16-17, 2019) started out in 2008 (in Dallas still) with a handful of attendees and just five exhibitors. Since then, the event has grown into a key meeting point for the wind-energy industry, expanding to 700 attendees and 75 exhibition booths in 2019.
What is your role with the show?
My role as the project director is to research the topics, create our agenda, recruit the speakers, and to oversee the marketing and sales activities of the team working alongside me on the event. It’s pretty full on!
What went into planning this year’s show?
We started researching the topics for the event in August 2018 and did over 150 hours of research calls with the industry to find out what the hot topics are right now. We mostly speak to the owners and IPPs, the OEMs, and the greater supply chain to understand what keeps them up at night and what O&M innovations they’re excited about.
From there, we created an agenda that reflected those topics and began our speaker recruitment. New Energy Update doesn’t do a call for papers; we prefer to go after the people that our audience selects as the experts in their field and ensure they are at the event.
What did you learn from last year’s show that helped in planning this one?
We ask for a lot of feedback from our audience following the event, and we got an amazing amount surrounding the agenda topics. It gave us great insight into where our audience’s focuses were moving to. As an example, most of the owners said they’d want to hear more about energy storage, so we included that for the first time ever as a dedicated session.
Not only that, but we found that many asset owners had PV portfolios, so for those working in PV, we have also launched Wind Dallas’ sister PV O&M event, which will be held at the same date and location for those who wish to attend both.
We also heard more about the importance of actual knowledge sharing, rather than pure commercial adverts, so we have incorporated many more intimate networking functions that will allow for a greater depth of knowledge sharing across all companies in attendance.
How does Wind O&M Dallas differ from other wind-energy trade shows?
The event has been running now for 11 years, but we’ve always been an intimate networking event where our attendees will only rub shoulders with key decision makers from the industry. We’re expecting around 700 people, 300 of which will be the asset owners themselves, and they’re mainly the senior site managers, directors, VPs, and C-suite level attendees, so you know you’ll meet the right people.
Our pledge to our audience is that while you may not be in the room with thousands of people, you’ll be in the room with the right people. Beginning and fostering partnerships, sharing case studies in O&M successes and hitting on the pain points that keep you up at night.
What will attendees expect to see?
Business gets done at Wind O&M Dallas, and that creates an excitement and buzz that people thrive off. People really enjoy the show and how close-knit the attendee community is; it makes for a better networking experience at the end of the day. You won’t be searching through crowds of thousands of people trying to meet the people you want to meet.
Not only that, but we have many interactive working group style sessions where we’ll get the audience involved in discussing the pressing challenges and exciting opportunities facing the industry today. There’ll be plenty of opportunities for you to share your expertise with the audience both during the sessions and in the networking breaks.
What’s new at this year’s show?
We’ve made some pretty big changes based off the feedback from the industry. Most notably for the wind event is that we’re adding in exciting new sessions such as supply chain and logistics, workforce development (recruit, train, retain), data driven O&M, and our brand-new innovation showcase. We’re focusing on innovation and opportunity throughout the agenda, so it won’t be same-old, same-old.
We’ve also worked hard to make sure that there is representation from every medium- to large-scale asset owner in North America. With an expected turn-out of 300 executives from utilities, IPPs, and infrastructure funds, including job functions that range from the C-suite to managers (asset, site, engineering, technical), supply chain and procurement teams, and finance.
What are you personally looking forward to at this year’s show?
The technology innovation showcase for sure. Simply put, it’s a TED-talk/Shark Tank style pitching session where participants showcase the latest and greatest innovations in the Wind O&M industry and exactly how it will make everyone’s lives much easier. Our judging panel (APEX, Liberty Power, Excelsior Energy Capital) will then give feedback on what they liked and perhaps didn’t like. We’ll also get the audience involved, so you can put your thoughts forward, too. It’s a session we have done recently in many other events, and the audience really loves it. We hope ours does, too!
More info newenergyupdate.com