The numbers told the story, but you didn’t need “numbers” to know that the recent AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in San Antonio was a huge success.
All you needed to do was try walking through the crowded halls – and note the upbeat energy and smiling, almost giddy expressions – and you could tell something very good was happening in the technical sessions, in the exhibits hall and throughout the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
For the record, the 2008 convention attracted 7,526 registrants (from 73 countries), making it the third largest annual meeting since 2000; only the Houston meetings in 2006 (8,223) and 2002 (7,665) attracted more people.
The large turnout meant that having a place to sit in the technical sessions often became a status symbol, as onlookers lined the walls and sat on the floors to hear the presenters.
A large crowd also attended the opening session, which featured AAPG President Will Green’s report on his year of representing AAPG around the world, followed by the awards ceremony honoring the Association’s best.
Marlan Downey provided the session’s emotional highlight as he honored the late Fred Meissner, this year’s Sidney Powers Memorial Award winner, reading a “thank you speech” comprising Meissner’s own words.
“The profession has been good to me and I have tried to return something back to it through sharing knowledge, through serving on committees and as an officer of various organizations I have belonged to,” Downey read on Meissner’s behalf.
“Thanks again to this wonderful organization for this great honor you have bestowed on me.”