The Lighter Side of Renewable Energy Conferences

We spend a lot of time at conferences being serious. After a long (and incredibly informative) week at this year’s ASES and AWEA conferences in Phoenix and Dallas, I spent the last hour of my time in Texas running around like a kid in a carnival, doing all the things I had been secretly wishing to do.

All you trade show organizers and marketers take note! These activities at the AWEA conference were some of the best I’ve seen. This is a very simple, creative way to brand the industry and have some fun during a mostly-serious event.

Firstly, I stopped by the Wind Works for Me booth to get my picture taken on top of a nacelle. Standing on my hands 100 meters above the ground was tough work! After printing out the photo, attendees posted them to the giant “Wind Works” sign outside the exhibit hall.                     


Next, I ran over the Mortensen Construction booth to “get my wind face on.” Sitting down in a booth with a hair drier blowing through my sweaty conference hair, it almost felt like I was in my own wind tunnel. Almost. They took my picture and made a button for me. This was one of the cooler marketing efforts I’ve seen by a company. Kudos to Mortensen for a great idea!

After the Mortensen booth, I ran outside to sign the GE turbine blade that’s been traveling around the country for the last month as part of the “Capture the Wind” tour. This is another great branding effort from GE. It’s a 130-foot long petition designed to show American citizens and politicians that wind has broad support. Check out the origins of this blade in the video posted below.

And finally, I went to the “Air Your Thoughts” booth and answered a variety of serious and not-so-serious questions about the wind industry. AWEA put together a series of segments from the show with the responses. Again, another really fun, simple way to engage the attendees and help brand the industry. You can see one of the segments below.

I commend AWEA, Mortensen, GE and others who think in innovative ways about how to brand the industry. None of this stuff is terribly difficult to implement. It just takes some creativity – something that I hope other industry players will continue to tap.

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I am a reporter with, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in touch through twitter! My profile name is: Stphn_Lacey

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