Tulsa, OK, has long been established as a principal base for oil and gas pipeline manufacturers, contractors and energy companies. While much of the industry has consolidated in Houston, Tulsa remains a principal manufacturing and service hub for the pipeline market.
Last fall, a group of Tulsa-based companies decided to re-acquaint the market with the many products and services based in the Tulsa area. The first-ever Tulsa Pipe Equipment Expo was held Nov. 19-20 and declared a success by both attendees and sponsors.
The concept for the pipe expo began with an idea from Shawn Lowman, director of sales and marketing for Vacuworx International, when he was planning an open house for the company.
“I was wondering how we were going to get anyone to come to our open house in Tulsa when the economy was in the gutter,” Lowman recalled. “It hit me that when a contractor does come to Tulsa for business, they almost always set up meetings with other manufacturers.
“We had a good relationship with key manufacturers – and did not compete with each other,” he continued. “I approached Midwestern Manufacturing, Darby Equipment Company and McElroy Manufacturing. They all loved the idea.”
Helping Lowman organize the event were Chris Greggs and Dave Tanner from McElroy, Joe Beffer from Midwestern, and Bobby Darby from Darby Equipment. Other Tulsa companies supported the event as associate sponsors, including: Braden/Paccar Winch, Allen Edwards Inc. and Boyd Metals.
Over 100 people attended this inaugural event which included tours and equipment demonstrations by the four primary manufacturer participants and a networking dinner. “We had to put this together in a short period of time and that limited our ability to find a central location,” said Lowman. “That is why we decided to do individual facility tours. The customers really seemed to like the tours.”
The sponsors purposely limited the attendance so they could concentrate on making the event run smoothly and see how it was received. Lowman said they considered the first Expo a huge success. “It absolutely served its purpose.”
Plans are already underway to hold another Tulsa Pipe Equipment Expo in 2010. Lowman said the group is in the final process of selecting the dates.
“This year will be bigger and better. We will have more manufacturers, sponsors and attendees. This is an event that you do not want to miss,” Lowman stressed.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Shawn Lowman, Vacuworx, (918) 259-3052, firstname.lastname@example.org