Nov. 17–19, 2015
George R. Brown Convention Center
Some 2,000 aerospace executives and space and defense analysts and policymakers are expected to attend the first-ever Space Commerce Conference and Exposition (SpaceCom), which organizers describe as “a catalyst for innovation and growth in the commercial development of space.” The expo will showcase companies in sectors such as manufacturing, communications, energy, medicine, and transportation.
Because SpaceCom is an entirely new event, the biggest challenge for organizers is communicating to potential attendees what sets it apart from other space conferences. “We’re trying to become a catalyst for private industry to take advantage of space technology,” said James Causey, SpaceCom’s executive director. “Our overall mission is to create a sustainable market to use space technology on earth and take advantage of near space.” Specific logistical challenges include clearing all attendees — many of them international — to tour Johnson Space Center on the final day of the conference.
Causey’s team is planning an aggressive social-media campaign across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to respond to any problems that arise, engage attendees during the event, and keep them connected after they return home. SpaceCom will feature a video feed from the International Space Station, and astronauts will announce the winners of contests that will be run throughout the show. “This is going to be a five-star event,” Causey said, “so we want to make sure we do it right.”
Convene’s Pre-Con/Post-Con series asks meeting planners about their challenges and how they intend to address them (Pre-Con), and then circles back around after the meeting has occurred (Post-Con) to see how well they worked out.