So here it is, the 2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in Amsterdam, Holland. On first appearances I would have to say that the crowd doesn’t look expansive. Not that I mind, elbow room is always nice. But, given travel expense its discretionary nature in the world’s current economic state, I assume that many of us who planned to attend perhaps were outvoted by the gatekeepers. However, the show goes on. Conference Chairperson, Walter Simpson, said this morning that approximately 1,450 people were registered to attend the Amsterdam Conference, which also has 93 exhibitors on the show floor. Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems? I can only report what I see. So far, the technical sessions have been the “bell of the ball.” Simpson also announced that this year’s submissions for papers were a new record for the conference. Although, attending a conference in Amsterdam is rather sexy. I wonder what the turnout would’ve been for “2009 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference Beaumont, Texas?” Not that there’s anything wrong with Beaumont, but location can take an event a long way.