Challenging industry trends didn't dampen the excitement for nor the technical success of the recent AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, held at Denver's Colorado Convention Center.
Slightly more than 6,000 people attended the meeting, which featured important technical presentations, spotlighted special speakers and offered attendees the chance to sample the latest in professional trends and technical advances.
"The success of an annual meeting can be viewed in many ways," said ACE general chair John Robinson, "but is typically measured by content, quality and participation.
"Based on the comments from meeting attendees, the amount and content of technical materials presented in Denver was outstanding," he said. "This can be directly credited to the diligence of the Technical Program Committee, headed by Donna Anderson.
"The Denver organizing committee, with additional leadership from vice chair Jim Emme, worked hard to provide a broad array of technical content that could be used by attendees working on projects around the world," he said.
Specific highlights that Robinson cited included:
- The winners being announced at the AAPG/AAPG Foundation Imperial Barrel Award. "The excitement of the students is palpable and infectious," he said.
- The presentation of the Sidney Powers Memorial Award to Paul M. "Mitch" Harris "raised the crowd to their feet."
- The special core poster session "was an elbow-to-elbow opportunity to see the key reservoirs we work on everyday."
- The exhibits hall, filled with cutting-edge technology and the latest in geoscience thought, "was bustling every time I walked through."
- All-Convention Luncheon speaker Simon Winchester "entertained a full house with his thoughts on the 200th anniversary of 'the map that changed the world,' and in the process recognized Denver's own Mike Johnson for his early work on the Bakken Shale play."
Robinson said he knew the meeting faced some tough challenges on the road to success.
"When we began to organize our committees, oil was $100 a barrel and enthusiasm for meeting attendance was high," he said, "which resulted in a record 1,700 abstract submissions. By the time registration began things had changed, large companies were limiting travel and individuals had to make tough choices in their discretionary spending."
All of which made the meeting more special.
"I'll be forever thankful for the enthusiasm, professionalism and engagement that clearly contributed to the success of the meeting," he said.
The next AAPG annual convention will be held June 19-22 in Calgary, Canada.