SpaceCom Launch in Houston Draws More than 1,700 Attendees

January 16, 2016

The first annual SpaceCom (Space Commerce Conference and Expo) drew more than 1,700 professionals, representing the aerospace, financial, energy, medical, maritime, satellite communications and advanced manufacturing industries.

The three-day event took place Nov. 17-19 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, capitalizing on an estimated $320 billion global space economy-one that's growing by the minute.  

Visit Houston/Houston First Corp. and National Trade Productions (NTP) partnered to create SpaceCom.  

"We could not have asked for a better launch for SpaceCom,” said NTP Founder and Chairman Robert Harar.

He added, “We exceeded expectations in nearly every metric, which is exceptional for a launch event.  NTP has produced many events, but never one with such a unique partnership structure that brought so much to the table. Houston could not have been a better location or partner for SpaceCom."

Satellite Applications Catapult CEO Stuart Martin said in his Nov.18 keynote, "In the last 24 hours, SpaceCom has become the premier event for the commercial space industry." 

Here are some of the highlights from SpaceCom 2015.

-  Attendees representing 37 states and 23 countries, with delegations from the United Kingdom and Italy 

-  100-plus booths showcasing innovative and collaborative products and services 

-  More than 50 media representatives from around the world 

-  Taped address from Sen. Ted Cruz and two feeds from astronauts aboard the International Space Station 

-  Keynotes from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides, Satellite Applications Catapult CEO Stuart Martin, Royal Dutch Shell CTO Yuri Sebregts, and author Chris Impey 

-  Exposition floor with an opening reception, Innovation Theater, VIP Meet and Greets, NASA Modular Robotic Vehicle (MRV) and show floor tours 

-  First-ever Commercial Spaceport Summit with representatives from 14 international spaceports 

SpaceCom was born out of the desire of the Houston community to showcase the current advancements in space technology, as well as seed the new markets that are created at the intersection of space and other industries, according to show officials.

In 2012, officials from JSC connected with Visit Houston, which already has successfully partnered in the creation of other shows including Comicpalooza and Medical World Americas.

Next, a taskforce including representatives from NASA JSC, Rice University, Houston Airport System, economic development agencies and others was formed to examine the feasibility of such an event.

Once the concept proved viable, Visit Houston approached National Trade Productions, a leader in conference and trade show management, to help make it a reality.

"I think what's unique about SpaceCom is the seamless partnership that was created between a quasi-governmental agency with Visit Houston/Houston First, a full-fledged government agency with NASA and a private sector company like NTP," said Michael Heckman, vice president for Partnerships and Event Development at Houston First Corp.

He added, "Despite the different perspectives, we were able to come together and execute this event in a way that will build a foundational, first-of-its kind marketplace for the space commerce industry and create a legacy event for the Houston region."

SpaceCom 2016 will take place Nov. 15-17 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

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