Petrochemical companies such as DuPont and Shell originally sponsored the workshop. During this time, the emergency management and private industrial communities primarily attended the event, although it was open to the general public. Following Hurricane Andrew in 1993, attendance soared to nearly 1,000 attendees.
In 1994, the East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA) came on as a sponsor of the event and the City of Pasadena provided the Pasadena Convention Center as a venue, free of charge. Event planners shifted their focus in 2004 and began to promote the event to the general public. The workshop was scheduled on a weeknight and the annual event booklet was transformed into a hurricane preparedness resource for southeast Texans. EHCMA earned a Corporate Award in 1997, at the National Hurricane Conference for their involvement in the Hurricane Workshop.
In 2005, CenterPoint Energy became the corporate sponsor and underwriter of the Hurricane Workshop. Other sponsors included the City of Houston, the National Weather Service and active participants such as Harris County, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston and the John C. Freeman Weather Museum. In 2006, the workshop was moved to downtown Houston and hosted at the George R. Brown Convention Center, which was provided at no cost, courtesy of the City of Houston. To reach out to families, a Kids Zone was introduced in 2007 by the National Weather Museum. The event also began being held on Saturday.
In 2008, Radio Disney joined the Kids Zone. CenterPoint Energy and City of Houston received the National Weather Association Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award in 2008 and again in 2009 for their contributions to the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service Hurricane Workshop. Following Hurricane Ike, the 2009 Hurricane Workshop had higher attendance than ever before, with approximately 3,000 attendees.
A record crowd of nearly 5,000 visitors turned out for the 2011 Hurricane Workshop. This has been our highest attendance to date. The award-winning event continues to grow bigger and better each year, as it educates residents of the Houston/Galveston area about safety and hurricane preparedness. In 2012, newly selected National Hurricane Center Director Dr. Richard Knabb joined outgoing NHC Director Bill Read in presenting information on hurricane preparedness and the forecast for the upcoming hurricane season. The keynote presentations from the NHC directors and the interactions between the public, emergency managers, and broadcast meteorologists from every Houston station have been a staple of the workshop for many years.