Committee Plans More International Meetings

International Bulletin Board

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 committee.

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 conferences.

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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 committee.

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 conferences.

Selection Criteria

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 exhibitors.

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 conference.

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.

Alternate Venues

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 AAPG membership.

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!

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