It's hard to describe exactly the secret to a successful meeting. Certainly, the AAPG International Conference and Exhibition in Barcelona had the "spark," and was a vibrant meeting.
As in most meetings, it is the participants and the quality of the technical program that make a conference dynamic.
Over 1,500 participants attended Barcelona, and based on the responses of the attendees and the written surveys of the exhibitors it was a success.
In addition, I think Barcelona will be recognized as a turning point in international development for AAPG. All six of our Region presidents were present at the meeting -- the first time that has occurred.
AAPG President Steve Sonnenberg chaired a Regions President's meeting. The International Regions Committee, chaired by Ibrahim Al-Ghamdi, met and discussed various issues within each Region. Also, four of the six Regions held individual meetings to discuss ongoing programs and new conferences.
As a result of these meetings, many ideas, growing pains and solutions were discussed. One of the primary topics was how to develop better communications within and among the Regions as well as to and from the AAPG leadership and headquarters.
Some of the suggestions that were discussed included:
- Quarterly teleconferences among Region presidents.
- Monthly teleconferences with the Regions among officers and other leaders.
- Quarterly e-newsletters to all Regions' leadership.
Another topic was AAPG's international membership program. After last year's successful program, Dan Smith is chairing the new Membership Enhancement and Development Ad-hoc Committee.
The following are a few ideas on how to develop AAPG membership:
- Better communication with local societies.
- Membership information stands for local society meetings.
- More visits from AAPG representatives.
- Review of dues structure.
Finally, there were a number of discussions on how to improve services to international members. Suggestions included:
- Improved mail service -- or more electronic access.
- More Distinguished Lecturers.
- Expand the Visiting Geologist Program.
- International E&P Notes in the BULLETIN.
- Investigate sharing library/offices with local societies.
The history of AAPG shows that its members and leadership are good at adapting to change. Even more important, AAPG members always have shown the ability to bring exciting new ideas and programs to help move the Association into the future.
Be part of that future by keeping AAPG vibrant with your support and participation.