When asked about his success, J. Paul Getty is quoted as having said, "My formula for success is: Rise early. Work late. Strike oil!"
This is certainly the case with AAPG's annual convention this year. An army of volunteers assisted by AAPG and the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (CSPG) staff, worked hard to make Calgary 2005 the fourth largest attendence by paid professionals at an annual meeting in the history of AAPG.
Over 7,300 registrants attended the conference and exhibition, which highlighted a very robust technical program.
The most impressive statistic is that almost 5,000 professionals attended the meeting (see graph).
The meeting was held jointly with SEPM and the CSPG, and that is one of the reasons for the significant professional attendance registration -- a high percentage of registrants were industry professionals from Canada.
Of course, a little luck does not hurt when "striking oil." The meeting was held as oil reached its highest price in recent history, and the mood within the meeting halls was indicative of plus $50 oil and the resulting industry activity.
Calgary also is a great place to hold a convention, and the Canadian Rockies are always a great draw. After the meeting I saw more AAPG members in Banff and Lake Louise than wildlife. I think we should have worn our badges.
Is there an overall change in professional needs and employer support that marks significant increase in professional attendees? To find out I polled many members and received about four standard answers:
- Desire for networking with peers.
- Need for professional development by hearing the talks and taking advantage of schools and field trips.
- Meeting with exhibitors to review programs and new technology.
- Visiting with industry professionals to develop and secure business opportunities.
Combine the need for professional development with a good location and the current activity in the energy industry and you have a "perfect storm" for a good convention.
The good news is that there is once again a certain "buzz" and feeling of excitement in the industry. I noticed this "buzz" at the Petroleum Club in Tulsa just before I traveled to Canada; the club was full of people talking about "pipe" and prospects.
During the meeting in Calgary I also talked to a number of members who feel greater job security. They recognize that their employers are giving greater freedom and placing more emphasis on professional development in order to keep job satisfaction high.
The excitement and opportunity for professional improvement through meeting opportunities will continue into the third quarter of the year. A quick check of AAPG's new online schedule (see "Meetings" link, or select "calendar" on "site shortcuts" on aapg.org) shows a number of opportunities starting in late August.
- First up is the new summer NAPE prospect and property expo on Aug. 24-25. AAPL is the general partner for their first summer program along with IPAA their long-time partner in NAPE. AAPG and SEG are new supporters in this viable program (see page 6).
- The first Section meeting in early September is the Mid-Continent Section's meeting in Oklahoma City on Sept. 10-13. The meeting's theme is "Target the Hidden Potential in the Wild West."
- "New Tracks to New Highs" is the theme for AAPG's international meeting scheduled Sept. 11-14 in Paris, France (see page 34). Pre-registration for Paris is the second highest total for an international conference and exhibition in AAPG's history. We have had tremendous support from Total and IFP. Sponsorship has been excellent, and over 75 percent of the exhibit floor is taken.
Sponsorship opportunities still exist; if you are interested, please contact Andre Coajou, Paris Sponsorship Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Eastern Section meeting will be held in Morgantown, W.Va., on Sept. 18-20. Their theme is "Mountains of Opportunity."
- They are followed by the Rocky Mountain Section meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Sept. 24-26, where the theme is "Rocky Mountain Rendezvous -- Rising to the Challenge."
- The year's final Section meeting is the GCAGS meeting on Sept. 24-27 in New Orleans. Their motto is "Gulf Coast Gumbo -- A Recipe for Success."?
All of these meetings are excellent opportunities for professional development and networking. They are the result of the hard work of many AAPG members and staff.
Hard work mixed with opportunity always is a great formula for success.