The Danish wind industry has offshore oil and gas to thank for the concept of a dedicated conference called Copenhagen Offshore Wind. "We had the first meeting three years ago at Offshore Centre Denmark," says Kai Olsen, chairman of the broad Danish offshore industry association. A roomful of Danish industry members were debating how Denmark's new strength in offshore wind could be better promoted. Some discussed mounting exhibits at the world's major wind power events. "When I had listened to this for half an hour, I thought, this can't be true," Olsen says. "Denmark holds more than fifty per cent of the world's wind export market and we have more than 30 years of experience with offshore oil and gas. We know how to put strategy in offshore." Olsen says he envisioned a conference in Denmark that would have the same international draw for offshore wind as the annual "OTC" (Offshore Technology Conference) in Houston has for offshore oil and gas. It had more than 50,000 delegates this year. "That's where the knowledge is. Even though you see offshore events taking place all around the world, nobody misses OTC." The Danish industry group was sceptical, says Olsen, but reluctantly agreed to move on the idea. In 2004, financing was in place, with a budget based on 400 delegates. More than 800 people pre-registered. "We had 1000 of these name tags ready, and by the second day they were all gone," says Olsen. The organisers are planning a follow-up for December 2007.
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