As part of the AAPG Committee on Conventions, the International
Conferences sub-committee is responsible for making recommendations
to the AAPG Executive Committee on where to hold future international
conferences. The committee consists of former and future conference
organizers, as well as representatives of AAPG international regions.
The committee's mission also is to provide support and advice to the
technical program committee and, if requested, to the conference organization
Sites already selected include Cancun Oct. 24-27, serving the Latin America and South America region;
Paris 2005 for the European region; and final discussions are under
way with local committees and AAPG headquarters for a 2006 conference
in the Asia/Pacific region.
Preliminary work is also under way toward finding sites for 2007-10
Finding the optimal location that serves the international membership,
provides industry focus for E&P and offers rich cultural significance
to attract spouses and family members is the committee's greatest challenge.
Other factors that come into the selection process include projected
attendance (both local and U.S.-based); expenses and revenue (keeping
conference costs low); timeliness of the technical program; and attracting
A great program in the right city strengthens the local society and
provides one of many ways in which AAPG serves its membership. There
is nothing more effective for bringing people together than a successful
During last September's committee meeting in Barcelona, we asked each
region to submit its request for hosting an AAPG international conference,
business drivers and potential sponsors, and local volunteer base. We
also asked for the key meeting schedule for each region. For example,
the Africa Region hosts biennial Egypt oil and gas shows, as well as
annual Nigeria NAPE conferences.
In Europe, where most of the AAPG international membership is located,
there are numerous cities for potential conference sites. However, we
should not have a region dominating the conference scene at the expense
of other regions. Thus, in 2003, the Committee on Conventions proposed
a rotation for the international conferences based on business drivers
for industry, membership value and local host society interest.
We want to soon take advantage of industry interest in the Middle
East, West Africa, Russia, Mexico and Latin America. We are open to
alternate "non-traditional" — or obvious sites with easy access to
For example, Angola is a key center for industry, but there are no
facilities for a conference in the country. Yet, direct flights from
Angola to Europe, South Africa and Brazil would provide alternate sites
for discussing Angolan petroleum systems.
A Streamlining Initiative
A new dimension of this committee will be to work with AAPG international
regions to optimize site selection as well as to avoid conflicts with
other AAPG international events. There already are many conferences
— professional and commercial — hosted by different geoscience groups.
The AAPG Executive Committee and headquarters are working diligently
with sister societies to avoid scheduling conflicts, as well as jointly
hosting meetings to avoid duplication.
Although the topics of these conferences are quite different, the
events still depend on volunteer resources and financial support from
the same industry players.
As always, the international conferences sub-committee welcomes your
suggestions and comments — and we are looking forward to a successful
conference at this exciting location.
See you in Cancun!