It was one eventful day in May 1996, when Jim Reimer called me up. He told me of a project that the CSPG, CSEG and the CWLS wished to conduct. In 1998, the three societies were to hold a joint convention. I think I remember agreeing to help out. So began our challenge. Two and a half years have past. With the support of three CSEC Executive Committees and our sister societies, this event Geo-Triad '98 has been a huge cooperative project. Albeit a technical convention, it felt like putting together a huge wedding - accompanied by emotions of joy, wonderment, relief and pride.
This first joint convention of the three societies was successful. Few weddings could equal attendance of approximately 5,000 delegates. The big attraction was Geo-Triad's multi-disciplinary technical program, which emphasized the aspects of geology, geophysics and well logging as it pertains to the practical search for hydrocarbons. The theme, Rocks, Risk and Reward, was showcased in three Plenary sessions, with one element of the theme discussed each day.
Accompanied by a vast assortment of courses and field trips, delegates discovered much technical interest. Everyone got to take home an abstract book. Hiring a professional agency to design our printed material in conjunction with digital submissions reduced our printing costs appreciably.
The selection of the University of Calgary and the Olympic Oval as the host site of Geo-Triad '98 was a key decision in the success of this year's CSPG Core Workshop and the rekindling of the Geophysical Fair. The Core Workshop and Geo-Fair were an integral part of the program and broadened the delegates' convention experience. The Olympic Oval served as a focal point for the entire convention, offering almost unlimited space for exhibitors. A total of 379 booth spaces were sold to 180 exhibitors. The Oval was also the venue for the presentation of 37 posters and the site of the Icebreaker.
For the exhibitor and sponsor, Geo-Triad '98 offered a one time opportunity to showcase their products and services to the geoscience disciplines in a world class venue. Sponsors were given the opportunity to select activities and functions at Geo-Triad '98 to market their products and services. The response was phenomenal with sponsorship revenues more than doubling already aggressive budgetary expectations. One quarter of the sponsorship revenue came from exploration and production companies who supported the societies with monies, not wishing to realize the benefits of a point system for convention booth space!
In the true "Calgarian way" as we've seen before during the Winter Olympics 1988, I can't stress enough how much GeoTriad '98's success was due to a highly dedicated group of volunteers who gave countless hours to plan, organize and stage this event. Geo-Triad '98's organizing members also served as agents for the University and Olympic Oval to secure personnel and equipment on a donated basis to facilitate these legacy items.
Many companies chose to donate time, personnel and equipment to three legacy items that were left behind. Fibre optic cable was installed in the Olympic Oval by Shaw Cable. A 3C 3D survey was acquired in the "Back 40" with the assistance of several seismic contractors. Simmons Drilling and numerous other companies stepped forward to drill a shallow test hole at the University for future research in logging, tomography and glacial deposition. These three legacy items exemplifies the phenomenal support, spirit and synergy between industry and academia, as a result of Geo-Triad '98.
Geo-Triad '98 had its moments of trepidation. Selecting a venue for Geo-Triad '98 was no easy task. Calgary lacks the convention facilities of most American cities to stage a convention of this magnitude. The University of Calgary and the Olympic Oval were chosen as the host site due to an abundance of exhibitor floor space, the proximity of the AEUB Core Facilities, the opportunity to stage a dynamic heavy equipment fair, and the opportunity to develop synergies between academia and industry by nature of this venue. Our subliminal marketing scheme revolved around the idea that delegates might be more inclined to stretch their minds at a school of higher learning.
The risk associated with changing the venue became the challenge for all organizing team members as we had to build a convention with many hooks to attract the delegates and get them out of the downtown core. Countless hours of volunteer work were dedicated to this re-engineering effort by an "army" of people who seized the challenge and their employers who supported them.
This venue meant that delegates had to leave the downtown core! Would they go for it? How could we make it easier for the delegate to get to the campus and get around from venue to venue? What would we do if it rained? The technical program and plenary sessions had to appeal to the delegate membership of three societies. Keynote speakers, luncheon speakers and various social functions had to attract people as well, offering each delegate an opportunity for a unique experience.
Like any wedding, there are always things that happen differently than planned. Geo-Triad '98 wouldn't have been as successful as it was, if it wasn't for the commitment from the volunteer Organizing Team. Like any wedding when families meet, there are different ways of doing things. So we compromised methodologies while endeavouring to include the best each society had to offer. Geo-Triad '98 ran a CSEG style exhibits floor and a CSPG style sponsorship campaign. Exhibitors and sponsors of the other hosting societies witnessed a very different approach and methodology. This blending of methodologies was necessary. But the re-engineering effort associated with the change in venue probably doubled our own workloads. This additional effort was essential, but worth it.
The CSEG office has subsequently doubled their support staff by hiring on a full-time basis, the Geo-Triad '98 Registrar, Susan Beierling. This additional support should help GeoCanada 2000 and the SEG convention which will be in Calgary in August of the year 2000. The personnel at the University of Calgary and Olympic Oval were instrumental in the success of this convention. Their operational abilities shined during the staging of this event. The University of Calgary and Olympic Oval will be the host site of GeoCanada 2000.
The delegate membership of the three societies can thank all the volunteers for staging such an event. I'm sure that other volunteers feel that it has been an honour and privilege to serve the three societies in this manner. We hope that this project benefited the delegate membership of our three societies in many ways.
At the time this article was written in September, the odd languishing invoice was still being processed. Budgeted revenues were anticipated at $1,271,500. Actual revenue received was $1,742,809. Revenue from all sectors exceeded expectations. Expenses are currently estimated at $1,112,809. Our current netback to the three societies is estimated at $630,000 which at 45% working interest will provide the CSEG with $283,500 in net revenue. Seed capital from the three societies will be repayed over and above their respective netbacks. At the November 4th CSEG luncheon, an installment cheque for the majority of the netback revenues will be presented, the remaining balance payable after the last nagging invoice has cleared, hopefully by Christmas.
Thanks for the phone call and opportunity to help stage the wedding, Jim.
Doug Uffen, P.Geoph.
CSEG General Co-Chairperson of Geo-Triad '98