OTC Houston 2024 Guide

OTC HOUSTON 2024 Guide:

Against a backdrop of renewed industry optimism, OTC 2024 taking place in Houston from May 6-9 2024, is set to deliver an exceptional experience, providing attendees with unparalleled access to cutting-edge oil and gas technologies, the latest industry trends, and valuable discussions with industry experts and peers from across the globe.

At its peak in 2014, the Offshore Technology Conference brought over 100,000 attendees from all over the world. In the years that followed, the industry was hit by one of its worst downturns, and later, COVID-19 pandemic further compounded the challenges faced by the industry. With all of these behind us, OTC 2024 is set to make a strong comeback. After hosting more than 30,000 professionals in 2023 and over 1,000 exhibitors, they are definitely in an upward trend.

Since we are always getting questions from our out of town colleagues and clients about OTC and about Houston, we decided to compile the several emails we have written into a post to help you make the best out of your time during the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston!

Hint Hint:  bookmark this page and have it handy during OTC 2024!

Houston 101:

Planning your OTC 2024 trip to Houston? Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate the city. First of all, everything is far away and besides the main event at NRG Park, there are tons of side events such as breakfasts and happy hours happening all over the place! You will most likely need to rent a car or rely on lots of ride sharing services such as Lyft or Uber, especially if you end up staying near the airport (which would be a big mistake!)

Speaking of airports, we have 2 of them: IAH (George Bush Intercontinental Airport) which is in the north side of town and the main airport in the city, and a smaller airport called Hobby airport, closest to the NRG Park (where OTC 2024 takes place). You should budget around 1 hour by car to go from IAH to the NRG Park and Uber or Lyft will cost you about USD50-70.

If you are staying around downtown, expect to spend around 15 minutes and pay USD 15-20 to get to/from OTC with no traffic. Obviously, Houston is known for bad traffic especially around I-45, I-10, Medical center and around the event, so budget extra time and money if you are in traffic around rush hour.

houston map otc houston


Here is a little HOMEWORK before you get here! You should look at a map of Houston and be able to locate a few reference points:

  • Outer circle Beltway-8 which is a toll road – have an EZ-tag (no cash booths anymore) – if on a rental car, ask them for an EZTag or EZPlate.
  • Inner circle is 610 (also known as the 610-Loop)  – we often say some place is “inside the loop”, meaning inside 610 area.
  • Make sure to locate highways I-45 and I-59 which go North to South forming an X and highway I-10 cuts through the city from East to West. (it actually cuts the entire USA from California to Florida!)
  • There is also a Toll road that goes from 610 north through IAH airport and ends in the Woodlands called Hardy Toll Road. You will need to have an EZ Tag to use this as some exits will not take cash and you will get a ticket without an EZ Tag!

Areas you need to be able to locate: NRG Park (OTC 2024 Venue), Downtown, Medical Center, Galleria. There are lots of OTC 2024 events all around these areas and that is where most of the nice Hotels will be. If you have side meetings at an oil company, you maybe be venturing out to the Energy Corridor, so you should know where City Center is (Beltway 8 and I-10) and the area around Eldridge Parkway (Highway 6) and I-10, which is just a bit further west from City Center towards Katy (on the map)

To get around the city and OTC, I personally recommend getting a car because everything is so far away. But the next best option is certainly Uber or Lyft since our public transportation is limited to some very slow buses that don’t cover the entire city and a limited MetroRail (hopefully they will continue expanding). Although if you stay around downtown or the medical center and plan to just go from Hotel to OTC and not venture out to too many other places, the MetroRail will be a good option as it stops right by the best entrance to where OTC 2024 is.

Several hotels will have shuttles to and from OTC, which can come very handy, but expect long lines! Check with your hotel or at OTC’s official website.

Also know that there is major traffic during rush hour on the main highways between the airports, I-45, I-59, I-10, 610, beltway-8 and all around medical center, so budget some time for that!

OTC HOUSTON 2024 Location:

When trying to locate where the OTC Conference takes place, someone who is not from here may be confused by the several names you will find for the venue NRG Park which is the official location for OTC. You may see it in maps as NRG Stadium, Astrodome, Reliant Stadium. They are all in the same place. The official name these days is NRG Park which is really a complex of several buildings: NRG Stadium, NRG Center, NRG Arena, NRG Astrodome and NRG Park Outdoor Spaces. You will quickly realize that you should have worn some comfy shoes to go from one place to the other to cover the entire show or even to walk from the parking lots to the venues. They are far and you may consider using the golf cart transfers that have several pick up and drop off locations around NRG Park to get around. Cart rides are free and will save you time and blisters.

In the past, there were over 2,300 exhibiting companies spread around NRG Arena , NRG Center (main pavilion with largest exhibitors) and the outdoor space. Plus at the NRG Stadium, you will have meeting rooms and some VIP lunch and cocktails receptions (usually invitation only). This year, it looks like exhibitions and technical sessions will all take place at NRG Center, which actually is great, so it’s more manageable.

2023 OTC Parking Houston

OTC 2024 Parking:

If you are driving, there are a few options for parking. There are “special parking passes” you can buy for $96 for all days which will get you the closest to the venues, those parking lots have a sign that says Hang tag Only. If you don’t have the hang tags, none of the other parking lots are close enough to the venues – prepare to walk or look for a Golf Cart Transfer route near your parking area. Parking lots are distinguished by colors. They cost $20/day and they only accept credit card! Since the closest parking lots ORANGE and RED are reserved for exhibitors and folks with hang tags, the nest best may be to park at the BLUE lot (entering from Kirby), if full, go for the GREEN lot across the street. I think the other lots are too far and the trams/shuttle don’t come often enough, so if Blue or Green lots are full, you might want to park at the parking lot for the MetroRail just outside of 610 on Fannin. You will pay approx. $10-15 and ride the MetroRail to the venue.


METRORail- Map for OTC

METRO Rail- Map – Click to Enlarge

There are trains all the time and it’s one stop away, very close to the entrance of the main pavilion – NRG Center. It turns out to be quite convenient. In fact, if you don’t want to walk a lot to get to the show, the MetroRail parking lot off of Fannin is the best one.

Here is a little map for the Metro Rail. Notice the RED line, last stop at Fannin South, and the Astrodome Stop which is where you get off.

If you are using a Ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft, the pick up and drop off location will be the next to NRG center. Look at the map above.


FREE Pass – OTC Houston Offshore Technology Conference 2024

Several exhibiting companies have extra OTC tickets and they give Free Guest Passes that you can download from their websites or receive via email. In the past, this included free passes from Baker Hughes, Parker, TechnipFMC, NOV, DNV, SLB among others. After all, they want people to visit their booths, learn about their solutions and hopefully become clients.

As soon as more free guest passes are available we will update this page with the links.


OTC 2024 Sponsoring Organizations

The Offshore Technology Conference is organized by SPE in collaboration with these other industry associations below:



OTC Houston Hotels:

Besides attending OTC tradeshow and technical sessions at NRG Park, you will most likely want to network with industry professionals and companies outside of the event itself. Plus, if you want to enjoy a little bit of what Houston has to offer, you will want to stay in a walkable and safe area. I always recommend out of town folks to stay either around the Galleria area or Downtown. Hotels around NRG Park/610 are too isolated and not that safe at night. Even around the Medical Center which technically would be close to the venue, I would not recommend if you want to do anything besides OTC, again the area is a bit isolated from all of the OTC events. Hotel Zaza is borderline between Medical Center and Montrose, you may have some good parties or happy hours in that area that can make up for it being in a residential/Rice University/Museum area mainly. But in Downtown or Galleria you will be able to come back to your hotel and find a bar or restaurant, see locals walking around and get a good sense for the city. Plus lots of side events will take place in Downtown and around the Galleria area. If I have to recommend some hotels, I’d say in the Galleria you have Derek Hotel, Aloft and Marriott among several others. Note that Derek Hotel is inside the loop and closer to a relatively new development with cool stores and restaurants including one of my favorite steakhouses (see my recommendations below!), but it’s not on the Galleria side if you are hoping for a quick shopping spree. In Downtown, you can’t go wrong with the Hyatt Regency Houston, Marriott Marquis or The Whitehall Houston. In downtown, stay near Main St. which is where you will get the MetroRail.

Here are the hotels recommended by Offshore Technology Conference for OTC 2024

Ok so you got your bearings, you know how to get to OTC and you know where to stay, what’s next? Let’s dive into the event itself, shall we?

OTC 2023 Houston insider:

This is such a gigantic show that you’ve got to have a plan before arriving at the venue. If you are mixing technical sessions, visiting specific exhibitors and just walking around, It’s highly recommended that you download the OTC 2024 App or check the exhibitor map on OTC 2024 Website to plan your stops AHEAD of time! Once you get your badge, right before entering through the exhibition entry, you can’t miss the OTC Guidebook and tons of magazines, newspapers and other show goodies you will want to get! As soon as you get into the tradeshow area, find a bag for all promotional stuff you will collect and a lanyard (you don’t want to lose your badge!)

Needless to say, no matter what, bring plenty of business cards and be ready to network! There used to be more Oil and Gas Operators in the past, but today most exhibitors will be service companies of all shapes and sizes with their individual booths or within country delegations. There are still a few operators such as Aramco. Other operators are involved in the Award ceremonies, Presentations, Technical sessions and side events.

The most fun days are Monday and Tuesday when exhibitors are happy to chat and give energetic presentations (be ready to learn a bunch!). Wednesday is good, and then Thursday, not so great unless you are trying to sell to the exhibitors. Thursday you must come in the morning, after 12p it’s pretty dead and at 2pm the show is over.

Assuming that you will find your way to your main scheduled events (presentations and technical sessions) in the app or the map links above, when you are ready to walk around and do some networking, remember that the main pavilion is the NRG Center and where I’d recommend you go first.  It’s always impressive to see the live size equipment demonstrations, and the sophisticated presentations from the big guys. Make a point to check out TechnipFMC and Baker who always have awesome presentations, Parker, Kongsberg and Emerson usually has great interactive experiences. Around Kongsberg and the German Pavilion areas there are always good music and beer towards the late afternoon, probably the best networking area.

Tip: if there are specific equipment, service or topics of interest, go to the OTC 2024 website exhibitor search tool here , find and contact the exhibitors ahead of time, try to schedule a meeting!

Make sure to grab the show daily which will summarize what happened the day before. And it doesn’t stop when the show closes for the day, there are tons of events put together by the service companies, consulates and chambers of commerce.

Some side events that happen each year include Chamber of Commerce breakfasts, Cocktail parties, crawfish boil etc.

For those broadcasting your experience on social media the hashtags used this year are #OTCHouston #OTC2024

OTC Houston Side Events

There are several side events that happen outside of NRG park. They are sponsored by service companies, chambers of commerce, publications, associations, networking groups and consulates. We will update this list as we get the scoop.


Houston Restaurants:

Now if you have some time to explore the city and try some of the amazing restaurants here,  or if you want to entertain clients and partners, here are some ideas:

  • Tex-Mex: Cyclone Anayas, Torchy’s Tacos, El Tiempo, Pappasitos (Houston has amazing Tex Mex food, you must try it!)
  • Meat: Steak48, Fogo de Chao, Chama Gaucha, Perrys Steakhouse, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse
  • BBQ: Goode Company, Truth BBQ (although they often run out of meat and close), Pit Room, Rudy’s BBQ
  • Mediterranean: Phoenician downtown, La Fendee , Fadis
  • Seafood: Pappadeux, McCormick & Schmick’s
  • Asian: Uchi, Aquarium, PF Changs
  • American: Cheesecake Factory, Ruggles Black, Bella Green, Hungry’s, The Palm, Houston’s
  • Italian: Brios, North Italia, Maggianos, Sorrento, Vinoteca Pascol
  • Pizza: Colinas, Star Pizza, Bollo, Solario
  • Portuguese: O Porto
  • Sweets: Crave Cupcake, Chocolate Factory
  • Random cool spots: Market Hall Finn Hall (several options in Downtown), Karbach Brewing co. , Boomtown coffee shop, Blacksmith Cafe, Present Company Bar.

Then if you want to score a deal, several restaurants trying to attract OTC 2024 attendees, offer special deals when you show your OTC 2024 Badge: Check out the list of OTC 2024 Deals here: Special Deals for Offshore Technology Conference


Houston Bars:

Little Woodrows (Midtown): bar with fun games and daily drink specials

Anvil (Montrose): great cocktails and small bites

Houston Watch Company (Downtown): former watch shop is now a quaint, 2-level cocktail bar in the lobby of the Bayou Lofts.

Upstairs (Rice): Upstairs Bar and Lounge is Hungry’s vibey counterpart

Rustic (Downtown or Uptown): The Rustic offers a large selection of spirits and beer (more than 40 on tap) and lively music lineups. Guest can come as is. But be prepared for a meal. With its casual atmosphere and full-service dining experience featuring farm-fresh, Southern cooking like cactus fritters, burgers, and family-sized portions of carnitas or brisket with sides like jalapeño spoon bread, potato salad or tamales. Plus, there is a Texas-sized selection of wines.

Got some free time before or after OTC?

If you are spending the weekend and have some free time, here is a quick guide of what you can do on the weekend in Houston.

Neighborhoods worth checking out: Strolling around downtown can be cool, maybe you can rent a bike from one of the many Bike Stations throughout the city ( Prices are $3 for 30 mins or $13 membership for free 1-hour long rides) and explore all over downtown, Discovery Green Park, stop by Phoenician for a Shawarma wrap, check out Main street where the metro rail goes.

Work your way west towards the Bike trail along the Bayou on Memorial or Allen Parkway ( put in your google Eleanor Tinsley Park). If you happen to stick around on Friday, during business hours, you could check out the 6 mile long network of tunnels with stores and eateries underneath downtown that connects over 59 city blocks. You can enter from many of the office buildings and banks.

Adjacent to downtown you will find Midtown with tons of bars and restaurants. But my favorite is the next neighborhood over, Montrose – the hip, eclectic neighborhood full of history. Great restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

Just north of that, you will find the Heights, which is a booming neighborhood featuring bungalow houses with tree-lined streets, and no shortage of character and an assortment of bars and restaurants, specially around Studemont and 11th, White Oak St. and 19th street.

Do you have an insider tip to share or know of any events during OTC 2024 worth checking out? Add in the comments! And when you are done with OTC 2024, come back and share your thoughts! Make sure to add OTC hashtag #OTC2024

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