It’s convention time!
No, really. It is.
First of all, it’s always convention time for AAPG. Sections and Regions have meetings throughout the year. AAPG also runs numerous workshops, seminars, classes and symposiums. The AAPG event staff have put on four major conventions in the last five months, which is amazing.
I mentioned in my last article that the Energy Minerals Division (EMD) participates in conventions by sponsoring sessions, field trips and short courses. With the centennial of AAPG in 2017, the upcoming Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) and International Conference and Exhibition (ICE) are going to be packed full of activities.
The call for papers for ACE has already gone out and been closed. Abstracts are submitted, themes are selected and the program will be announced in January. I’ve been reading the themes and I’m excited to hear all the new things happening in a variety of topics. Planning for 2018 is also under way and I’ve already heard several amazing ideas for field trips. I have no doubt that both the Houston Centennial meeting and the 2018 meeting in Salt Lake City will be excellent.
Taking the Good with the “Bad”
Conventions are one of my favorite things. I love almost everything about them: technical content from areas in which I work, technical content in areas I have nothing to do with and know nothing about, exploring the exhibition floor for new products, contacts and souvenirs and seeing all my friends (we’re supposed to call that “networking”).
The only aspect I don’t love is the accumulated sleep deprivation. That’s my own fault. I find the atmosphere at conferences to be highly intellectually stimulating and my FOMO kicks into high gear. (For the non-millennials, “FOMO” is “Fear Of Missing Out.”)
I get up early-ish to attend talks then stay up way too late talking to folks I haven’t seen in a while or with whom I’m working on AAPG projects. Sitting in those convention lobby bars, I learn about the rich history of the Association and generate ideas for the future. Regardless of company support or how full my calendar is, I always plan to go to ACE, because the benefits for me always outweigh the time, money and personal energy spent.
But, as many superlatives as I can apply to conventions, I’ve heard from various folks that either conventions aren’t their thing, or they like them but don’t go because oil prices are down.
I don’t get that, because it’s not my experience. I think conventions offer something for everyone. I think low price environments are the perfect time to go to a convention. You make contacts that can lead to a new job, you gain skills you didn’t previously have, you get to talk about rocks and fossils and Mars and go home with a full brain sparking with new ideas and revitalized enthusiasm.
But that’s me.
Others have different reasons for going or not going. I’ve been trying to gather different perspectives lately, and I’ve heard fascinating stuff from AAPG leaders of all ages and experience levels – reasons for going or not going that have never occurred to me.
So here’s what I want to hear from you: Why do you go (or not go) to conventions? Do you prefer the big conferences like ACE or the smaller Section meetings? Do you draw a distinction between business (how you ask for funding from your supervisor) versus personal (travel, friends, breweries) reasons? What kinds of talks do you attend once you’re there (subjects you work in, subjects you don’t know anything about, geology hobbies)? If you want to go, but can’t, what are the barriers?
Shoot me an email (you’ll have to go to the EMD website to get my email address. See what I did there?), let me know your thoughts and opinions. Visit www.aapg.org/divisions/emdeszsaayz.