Event moves to a different month in 2021, and possibly for good.
by Drew Champlin
September 17, 2019

HOUSTON — Last week, more than 5,000 people ascended onto the scene at the Turbomachinery and Pump Symposium, which was held again this year at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Greg Gammon, director of operations for the Texas A&M Turbo Lab, estimated at the end of the show that attendance had increased from the 2018 show.

LISTEN to a podcast before the event with Turbo Lab director Eric Petersen and others

This was the 48th turbomachinery and 35th pump symposia. Short courses and technical sessions were held along with the trade show on the exhibition floor.

“It seems like there’s a lot more upbeat energy with the attendance of this show,” Gammon said. “The industry seems to be reviving itself well. Everybody just seems to be in a good mood.”

One new aspect to the show this year was the Women of TPS luncheon, which was held on Sept. 10.

“That was phenomenal,” Gammon said. “We had a panel session with ladies ranging from new to the industry to experienced telling their stories, sharing with the audience how they became successful and what their styles are —the challenges of what they have faced and how they met those challenges and became successful. I think that’s something that we will see grow over the years.”

There were also some men in leadership roles who attended the luncheon.

“Since it’s a male-dominated industry, it’s particularly good for them to hear what challenges [women] face and how they can be addressed,” Gammon said.

The Turbo Lab staff now looks ahead to Asia TPS, which will be held April 7-9, 2020, at the Kuala Lampur Convention Centre in Malaysia. Next year’s TPS in Houston will be Sept. 15-17. Gammon said around 85 to 90 percent of the exhibition floor is sold and the call for papers for the 2020 event ends in October.

The 2021 show is moving to December because of a scheduling conflict with the convention center. It will be held Dec. 14-16, 2021.

Turbo Lab Director Eric Petersen, Ph.D., said the staff would look to see if the move would be a one-off event in 2021, or if it would be more beneficial to move the show to that month in the future.

He said that attendance was better than expected in 2017 after the show moved to December at the last minute because of Hurricane Harvey’s effect on Houston.

“In some cases, it could be more convenient for more engineers to come in December,” Petersen said. “It gives us a chance to reassess whether it should be a one-time thing or something to keep doing in future years.”