New online Insight Hub revealed to increase intelligence resources for downstream decision makers

Following their acquisition by Thomson Reuters in October 2019, Petrochemical Update, the team behind the world’s leading downstream event, are making their incredible insights and analysis collections available for free in a new industry intelligence hub

The acquisition combines Reuters’ globally trusted news brand, scale and editorial excellence with Petrochemical Update’s deep expertise in highly specialized events and content production for key decision makers right across the downstream industry.

To understand how the newly launched Insight Hub fits into their long-term vision for the downstream industry, Petrochemical Update sat down with one of the key Project Directors overseeing both the new content platform and Downstream ConfEx, Bridget Robinson to find out more.

What role does Petrochemical Update play in the downstream market and what business intelligence does it provide? 

In short, Petrochemical Update provides business insights and analysis to the whole downstream industry. Though we're most known for doing that through our events, we also produce a great swathe of business intelligence in conjunction with these events to engage our global audience in the run up to every conference.
Historically, we’ve done this through free to download whitepapers and reports but have increasingly looked to webinars where key decision makers and influential stakeholders can share best practice in their industry directly with the market between events as well.

How does the Downstream Insight Hub create new value for downstream professionals on top of the services and events Petrochemical Update already provides?

As mentioned earlier, we’d traditionally release major content and webinars in advance of our events, but these would only be marketed for a short time. The Insight Hub doesn’t just give us an opportunity, for the     first time, to house all this industry leading content in one place, it also gives us the scope, resources and platform to create, commission and curate a far broader collection of business-critical intelligence than ever before.
As with our events, the Insight Hub will serve the full value chain of job roles and disciplines contained within the downstream industry. No matter whether you’re involved in capital projects, engineering, construction, reliability, maintenance, operations, shutdowns, turnarounds, process engineering or supply chain logistics we can now house a far greater library of content than has previously been possible.

We’re lucky to have a unique legacy of creating platforms that bring the downstream industry’s biggest and most influential names together to share their expertise, so it’s exciting to be able to offer this digitally through the hub in addition to our leading conferences and exhibitions.

That’s why we hope this Insight Hub will become a valuable tool used by downstream professionals globally to discover the latest trends before they happen, work with our network of experts to uncover solutions before they’re needed and unlock the full potential of their business units no matter which market they operate in.

In turn, we also hope to act as a catalyst for downstream businesses and professionals looking to make the leap into sharing insights of their own; whether they can share new technology use cases, perspectives on trends, valuable data sets or industry initiatives from capital project controls to diversity and inclusion – you can see that it’s a really wide reaching and exciting project to launch!

Why is Petrochemical Update offering this new service?

It’s clear that insights, data and reliable information are more important to decision making than ever before, and while we have facilitated knowledge exchange chiefly through our conferences in the past, we cannot be ignorant to the fact that conference attendance can’t always be possible for all attendees – the current COVID-19 crisis is perhaps a more extreme example of this than we could have anticipated but helps serve the value of digital knowledge sharing.

Our strengths have always been in unlocking the world’s most influential decision makers and being the vehicle for them to deliver new insights and business critical intelligence to the masses. As a result, it is quite natural for us to be looking for new opportunities to share this treasure trove of insights and increase engagement amongst our audiences while we continue to grow.
As I have said before, we now have the platform to do this, to share industry leading insights and deploy our networks to achieve this. It’s just that now really couldn’t be a better time to launch this platform and ensure that our readers can access critical insights that can help them optimize processes, workflows and systems in what is now a time of increased uncertainty and pressure to produce.

Does this mean that people are turning away from events?

No not at all, as we all know there's nothing as good as face to face networking. However, we can’t ignore the fact that large gatherings aren’t a priority right now - that’s why we will look to ensure that our network can still access business critical insights in the interim.
Event attendance, whether at events as large as the Downstream ConFex in Houston – the Gulf Coast’s #1 downstream industry event – or North East Petrochemicals in Philadelphia will continue to be the destination events for the face-to-face best practice sharing and networking upon which our industry relies to grow, thrive and exceed expectations.

What kind of audience does Petrochemical Update serve and how engaged is its audience to digital content?

All our in-depth analysis pieces, reports and articles are research focused and look to understand what senior level executives in the petrochemical industry need to know about right now to make better informed decisions.

Our current network stands at around 200,000 global downstream professionals, but we can actually double that reach to 400,000+ once we consider our ability to leverage multiple mainstream and niche industry channels to get all our content out and visible to the downstream industry as a whole.

We’ve always looked to develop close relationships and partnerships with the principal associations, magazines and trade publications that serve each sub-market of the downstream industry no matter if we’re talking shutdowns & turnarounds, haulage, operational excellence, plant optimization or capital project contractor networks.
It’s through leveraging these relationships that we’re able to penetrate our insights far deeper into companies and professional networks than has previously been possible in the downstream market.
Add to this the fact that we’re very digitally apt, possess an engaged social media following and have been very successful at engaging people that are hungry to learn, it’s a good time to be launching as platform such as our new Insights Hub.

What do people need to do to access the hub? What does it cost?

It's really easy. All you have to do is visit, and find the Insight Hub tab where all our content is hosted for free – it really is that simple!

What are some of the main trends that we are seeing having an impact across the downstream industry? New projects/technology/digitalization etc?
One thing that we’re seeing is that people are defining success differently. After the first and second wave of investment people are no longer simply looking to see where they are or can cut costs, instead they’re looking towards optimization and driving productivity. There is a growing demand for downstream products which means there has been a strong shift towards taking advantage of that growth rather than just attacking the bottom-line.

This applies whether we’re talking about plant operations, construction or supply chain – you name it, optimization and productivity are the buzz words that are driving true technological, process and best practise development.

Critically, this means data is more powerful than ever before and any tools, technologies or insights that can help drive new productivity on top of efficiency are going to the winners in the downstream data gold-rush.

Further to this downstream owner operators, IOCs and major contractors are looking closer than ever at how they are working with their supply chains and how they can optimize and empower the people that will fuel their productivity and drive them forwards to new growth.

We’re also seeing greater attention devoted to process diversification, as well as new contracting strategies, that aim to unlock new opportunities for optimization across the board. As businesses, downstream companies are looking to discover small gains right across their operations that can in turn lead to new more sustainable and productive recipes for business success.
Some of this work requires cutting needless processes, but to do so requires a far broader and more holistic view of the business than has typically been possible or considered worthwhile – as a result we’re seeing a transformation in the way people think, strategize and plan as much as we are in terms of technological advancement.

There are further trends fuelling and demonstrating these changes of course, from those changing the way project controls are managed to initiatives aimed at generating and diversifying the workforce required to execute projects and run plants in the next five to fifteen years, not to mention the discovery and nurturing of the leaders needed to tap into this in future.
As you can see, with the scope of change under way, and the breadth of efforts being made to develop the downstream market in future there really is an awful lot for our Insight Hub to tap into.

Are there any examples of content currently available through the Insight Hub or soon to be available that kind of touch on these trends?

I'm glad you asked! There is so much content on our Insight Hub; we have our coveted North America & Beyond 2020 Downstream Market Outlook, which is very much your one stop shop for industry trends and most complete and up-to-date database on current and future capex and OPEX projects.

We also have more specific content such as our excellence in process engineering and technology optimization webinar series, not to mention our annual Construction Indicative Cost Report and the
Digital Transformation of the US Petrochemical Supply Chain Report.

These are just a few of the major content pieces available, for free, that users can already access with much more on the way.

What if I wanted to create content with Petrochemical Update for its audience, what should I do?

The best and simplest thing to do is to reach out to our team which is at our email at and let us know what you're thinking. We can then work with you to advise which products would be the best fit for getting your message and insights out into the downstream community.
We do the hard work and get your insights and technical knowhow in front of the professionals and decision makers that you need to be successful, and it all starts with just an email to the address above.

To achieve this, we have to be very dynamic in terms of the products that we deliver. It might be that a report is the best option, or a webinar but whether we decide to commission or collaborate on a whitepaper, interview, podcast, video or anything else. You name it, if the content itself is high quality we will go the extra mile to ensure that your message gets through to the people that matter most.

What kind of return on investment will I see on working with Petrochemical Update? What kinds of leads have been generated before?

The return on investment really depends on what you’re looking for, we take a very qualitative over quantitative approach.

This means if success for you is getting your content in front of fifty spot-on people then we’ll target them directly and use these lead generation metrics to measure success.
Conversely, if you’re looking for as broad exposure as possible to niche markets, say capital projects in the US Gulf Coast generally, we’ll work with all our best-fit partners to see that your content is front and centre in their minds.

The Insight Hub is live, free and available at

Please contact if you have any questions.