It’s not a sports bar, it’s OTC: TVs, top-shelf beer and subsea oil storage

During OTC, FuelFix will check out various booths. Here is a look at one.

Flashing high-definition television screens are a proven attraction at the Offshore Technology Convention, and Norway-based Kongsberg Maritime AS has 19 of them.

In addition to more television screens than a typical sports bar, the company carved out a spot among the popular booths by offering top-shelf beer and wine served from a full-sized bar area.

At times, a live band also played to an packed audience gathered in a 50-seat common area.

“You have to have music,” said Kongsberg President Geir Haoy. “You can’t only talk all the time.”

Kongsberg’s 2,200-square-foot booth is considerably larger than last year’s 1,400-square-foot expo, and is packed with dozens of oversized televisions and computer monitors, including a 180-degree control suite that includes seven giant computer screens and six television screens carrying a real-time control room simulation.

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The control suite on the far end of the long booth, aims to dazzle wandering attendees with technology and stimulation.

“This really gives the full picture,” Haoy said.

Hilde Risan, Kongsberg’s sales and marketing consultant, said many of the television screens were shipped from Norway,
while others were rented locally.

But Risan said that although the large screen televisions and computers draw attendees into the booth initially, they stay for more than the complimentary alcohol and cheese plates.

“It’s the big monitors and the simulator, yes, but it’s also our brand and our people that keep them here,” she said.
Jon Holvik, Kongsberg’s vice president of sales and marketing, said the booth’s prime location is also a big draw.

He said the 199-year-old company’s longevity as an OTC exhibitor for more than three decades has given it the No. 22 slot for booth selection.

“We have one of the best locations at the show,” he said.

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Even Kongsberg’s low-tech displays were visually attractive, including a replica of a flexible subsea oil storage unit cased in an oversized fish tank and vessel motion sensors displayed in backlit glass cases.

Holvik said the company expected thousands of visitors to pass through its booth this week, many of them staying for much longer than the usual brisk meet-and-greet introductions.

“This is our largest booth so far,” he said. “There is a lot to see.”
Kongsberg is comprised of four business areas – oil and gas, maritime and two defense divisions – each of which is represented in in certain areas of the booth.

The company provides high-tech systems and solutions to customers in the oil and gas industry, the merchant marine and the defense and aerospace industries.