Guest blog post by Vicki Griffiths, Bid Manager, Blom UK
It was very early Monday morning when Paul Chandler (Blom Sales & Business Development Executive) and I started our journey from Bristol Airport (UK) to Vienna and the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) Conference.
A first for Blom UK
Five hours, two flights, and approximately 1,430 kilometres later we arrived at Vienna airport with our luggage and joined the queue for a taxi to the conference centre in the middle of Vienna.
This was Blom UK’s first appearance as an exhibitor at a front-line oil and gas exploration and production technology show.
Stands that delivered
Paul and I set to work with a will to make our stand look eye-catching and professional. In the brief sprint through the exhibition halls, I had seen some amazing stands – complete with lecture theatres, seismic equipment, bars and coffee machines so there was a lot of competition out there.
By the time the Icebreaker Evening was opened to delegates, our stand was all set up and ready for business. Being right by one of the few permanent refreshment stands, we were expecting a steady flow of traffic to the booth.
The evening went by in a flurry of people networking over a complimentary weissbier or glass of wine, and continued after the conference hall had closed in a restaurant under the famous Ferris Wheel in the Prater listening to music from the film “The Third Man”.
All in all a good start to the week.
Blom provides services to the Oil & Gas industries
Over the next three days, the sun shined constantly, and Paul and I talked to as many people as possible about Blom and the services that we offer to the Oil and Gas Industries.
As our stand was slightly off the beaten track, we divided up with Paul roving to talk to specific companies and people, and with me on the stand talking to anyone who walked by.
Using social media to draw visitors to our stand
In between talking to people and monitoring the status of the volcanic ash cloud spreading over northern Europe, I undertook a Twitter campaign to encourage people to come to the stand.
It worked, as a few people did come and see us as a result of it.
When Paul’s feet were aching after walking around the conference centre I also went for a walk around to see the exhibits and talk to people on the stands.
There were 330 exhibitors and over 5,000 delegates spread over two large exhibition halls. There were many geophysical and seismic companies, but also major oil and petroleum engineering companies.
LiDAR expertise from Blom cause a stir
Many of the airborne geophysical companies expressed interest in using our aircraft on charter or had a requirement for Lidar surveys to support their gravity gradiometry.
The land seismic companies were made aware of our offering, and will be followed up regarding their requirements for aerial imagery, Lidar surveys and mapping, to aid planning and to support their infield logistics and EHS requirements.
Many new customers had heard of Blom, but had no idea we have 36 aircraft and such a range of sensors, as well as our value-added interpretation capability.
Networking opportunities explored
There was also a busy conference schedule with many papers and posters being delivered to the delegates and activities for students including a climbing wall and quiz.
We visited some specific talks or poster sessions to track down some customers as we could not always rely on them passing by our stand when there was so much going on and the weather and the city sights were so inviting.
After each busy day, walking, talking and scanning business cards, we wandered around the centre of Vienna looking at all the sights and more networking with new and old friends from Troika International Ltd, RPS Energy, Kuwait Oil Company, Husky and Nexen.
Blom explores new commercial sectors and looks to the future
As a first oil and gas exhibition for Blom, this was a positive start, with many new contacts being generated and Paul’s old contacts being made aware of our full capability.
All the preparation from the team in Cheddar and our work at the show was certainly worth it, as we raised the profile of the company in a new business sector, and came away with many new contacts – plus a few new friends, too.
Time to start planning for next year’s conference in Copenhagen.
See you there!