A new and festive setting, large crowds making their way through jammed halls, an abundance of younger participants and a strong technical program all combined to make this year’s AAPG International Conference and Exhibition an affair to remember.
The 2013 ICE was held for the first time in Cartagena, Colombia, attracting about 2,000 participants who represented a diverse, decidedly non-Colombian demographic.
“We had a high number of countries represented, and especially a number of people from other Latin American countries,” said Victor Vega, this year’s ICE general chair, who added that at press time he has received more than 100 emails and messages from people who were still saying good things about their Cartagena experience.
“It was a very successful meeting,” he said. “We delivered a quality product with a diverse set of options, and also provided the students who attended with a unique experience.
“We also succeeded in presenting a flavor of the Colombian culture at the opening ceremony,” he added, referring to an unforgettable performance by Fundacion Musica por Colombia, a group of young musicians that started the session with a stirring rendition of the Colombian national anthem, and then ended it with an emotional and exciting mini-concert.
Vega pointed to four accomplishments that defined the 2013 ICE:
- The integration of the region into the overall program – local associations proved to be enthusiastic participants.
- The participation of high level representatives from private and national oil companies, especially in the forums, luncheons and special sessions.
- The participation of a high number of young professionals and students.
- A “very strong technical program,” he said, anchored by such events as the Discovery Thinking Forum, the sessions featuring national and international oil company officials, and the “country sessions,” which took detailed looks at the geology, current activities and future potential of important Latin American targets.
The meeting also boasted a large, creative exhibits hall that often provided the setting for special events – and just as often proved to be a popular place for networking, even as attendees were being treated to the latest in geoscience technology.