Case Study

NAPE Network: Making deals happen… online

Designing a new event strategy for an integrated future




Summer NAPE: Live on the NAPE Network


Raw Materials & Science

Event Services


Shifting the approach

For decision-makers and investors in the upstream oil & gas industry, NAPE (North American Prospect Expo) offers the world’s largest marketplace to make deals happen. Attendees gather twice a year to energize the industry with the buying, selling, and trading.

In the middle of planning, Summer NAPE faced a global crisis: Its vital, in-person marketplace couldn’t exist in this new reality. With dates and speakers set, the team needed to make a quick switch to digital while still enabling connections and much-needed business.

But would an online experience still attract traditional industry folks who are accustomed to in-person connections?

NAPE knew pulling off its first-ever digital event would be a feat. But before the team could dive in, the idea needed to be blessed by a skeptical, face-to-face-focused board. To get the green light, the event team had to replicate the NAPE oil & gas prospect marketplace with a professional, digital approach that was easy to navigate.

Producing a high-quality experience was essential in reigniting the industry and helping to overcome struggles caused by the crisis. Thanks to a long-term, positive working relationship, Freeman knew how to help NAPE succeed online.


Meeting of the virtual minds

Before COVID-19, Freeman and NAPE had discussed digital options for elevating live experiences. It hadn’t yet taken the plunge, but the crisis forced the show to go on, digitally. The obstacles of executing an online event seemed insurmountable, but together, the teams built a plan to evolve the NAPE summer event into its new virtual host: The NAPE NETWORK.

Freeman produced a slick digital marketplace that connected buyers and sellers from any location. Built to connect the oil & gas industry online, the effective platform provided easy access to education, networking, and deal-making. To create an authentic and personal vibe, the team opted to livestream its conference sessions, roundtable discussions, and promotional videos for the first two days, and then offer on-demand access for the following month.

Freeman brought this event to life in its Dallas studio by shooting speakers with customized LED backgrounds and a master control room to manage the livestream. Using the virtual platform new NAPE NETWORK delivered an interactive yet simple experience. It also incorporated the NAPE content in a seamless way.


Striking success

1 %
increase in prospect listings
1 +
virtual booths
1 %
of attendees visited virtual exhibits
1 +
decision-makers in attendance

Together, NAPE and Freeman delivered the first-ever virtual NAPE NETWORK to a legion of satisfied attendees and a pleasantly surprised executive team:

  • 400+ prospect listings (80% increase from 2019 since the online platform opened up opportunities to new players)
  • 180+ virtual booths
  • 1,500+ industry leaders and decision-makers
  • The NETWORK drew a little over 80% of attendees to the virtual exhibits (620 out of 752 users visited at least one exhibitor, which far exceeds the standard digital exhibitor visitation rate four-fold.)
  • Spanning on-demand access also proved positive. Online traffic typically drops after a few days, but NAPE attendees kept coming back.

This digital experience surpassed its goals and also uncovered a new event strategy for an integrated future. Face-to-face will always lead, but digital integration is a new essential. In fact, The NETWORK is now part of the NAPE brand, and it will provide an ongoing digital marketplace to benefit audiences wherever they are.

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