So I'm supposed to write a report on the Forum...? Would anybody actually want to read such a thing? Well, Nancy Shaw, President of the CSEG, said to try to make it interesting, so here goes...
Some history...About a year ago, Rob Stewart called me up, "Would I be interested in helping put together a Forum about Seismic Acquisition?" "Sure," I said, "But don't ask me now, because it's winter and in the acquisition sector, we all are working flat-out. Let's talk again in the spring...(hoping he might forget!)". So Nancy Shaw corners me at the Ski Spree maybe after the "apres-ski" party and reminds me of the plan. She asks, "What do you say, Perry?" I replied , "Oh sure, but it'll take awhile (maybe two years??) to put it together?"
"How 'bout for this fall ?" said Nancy. (You know, the HRAM Forum was so successful, the CSEG wanted to keep rolling with another forum, as you folks had asked for more of that type of technical meeting in the recent survey of members.)
"Uh, OK, well I'll try" said I, wondering how on earth we could get much accomplished over the short, long awaited summer in Calgary...
The Committee...So I call a few people who I know are not real smart, and con them in to thinking that this will be a walk-in-the-park... Wait until you see their names, you'll understand what I mean. We get together back in early May, figure out who's gonna do what, and away we go! Remember I've promised we don't have to do much over the summer...well, we'd better get the important stuff done by the end of June, right?
Time to tell you who got suckered into this task (in alphabetical order, of course):
Norm (Mr. 3D) Cooper, as a consultant type who can' t say "no" when technical stuff is involved... Technical Committee (go figure). Nice wig, Norm...
Doug Eaton, who thinks he's on the Technical Committee only (until he misses a meeting where we pick a Finance Guy...guess who gets that job?)
Gary James, for Special Events (at least he was smart enough to have to be out of the country in October...did his work early.)
Carol Laws, on Technical Committee, since Norm and Doug probably can' t spell "Interpreter." Carol said " I'll do what I can, but I'm not really familiar with this type of thing." What a great job you did, Carol! Thanks.
Cathy Martin, who was experienced in this sort of thing, and did do another bang-up job, not only carrying the Special Events job (remember, Gary was away in October) but jumps in to help the Technical folks! Your e-mails were a source of inspiration to all of us, Cathy!
Dave Siegfried, who, as Past Chairman of the CAGC, is perfect for the Exhibits... and is cool, calm, and collected, even when it ends up that he is running Western Geophysical's Canadian Division! Got any spare time, Dave??
Bruce Stewart, who has never done this sort of thing, gets roped into handling the Facilities, but reminds me that fall is a busy time for him.... "Facilities are a piece of cake," I said." No problem then" said Bruce, "I'd like to get involved." Remember when the only place in town that had any space, any time this fall was the Convention Center, and the only dates were November 9th and 10th ? (Guess which dates we chose!?)
Heather Payne, as CSEG Office Manager, gets to help us, period, 'cuz that's her job. Well, anybody who needs help, call Heather, because job or not, she was a great help!
Nancy Shaw, who roped me into this, came to many of our meetings, just to make sure we were actually doing something. Thanks for your guidance, Nancy.
Now What? Well , we better get somebody who knows something or at least sounds smart in giving talks, or we're all going to look pretty stupid.... What will we talk about? Well, some stuff about seismic acquisition, eh? After we finally settled on the subjects to present, getting qualified Speakers in Calgary was a breeze...well almost a breeze.
The Committee actually spent a lot of time putting together an agenda that would walk people through everything from program inception to "just before the first shot". You did a "helluva" job, folks! We had a few scares, but ended up with Speakers who did a very credible job, presented great papers, and the "bells & whistles" in the audio /visual presentations ...great. Slides, diagrams, PowerPoint pizzazz, with really well thought-out "stuff". What more could we ask for? A special "thank you" to Doug Pruden, who only had about six days to put together his presentation...
Keynote Speaker...Do you mean we need one? Well, for an "uptown" event like this, of course you do. Oh, OK. Well, we thought about this woman and that man, international figures, old guys, "wizards" and the like, and we kept coming up with Easton Wren's name... "Doctor" Easton, by the way...he's kinda old, kinda international, and kinda well known, and he speaks pretty well... . "Surrrre" he said, in his native tongue, "but yull hafta hilp me oot a wee bit b'cuz I'm not really an expert on "before the first shot."
(My apologies on the Scottish, Easton. You mesmerized the audience and did an outstanding job! Even if Ian implied you were as old as he is.)
Costs... We wanted to keep this forum as cheap as possible, because we recognized the downturn in the industry back in May, so we figured we'd charge only $35 for two days of talks...not a bad deal, huh? Also, because the service sector always gets hit on for funding stuff, we went "contrarian" and asked the (SEG & the CAGC to each contribute $5000. (So if any service companies want to thank us, our names are in the phone book.)
Things were looking so good; we even ordered "double shrimp" for the cocktail party...thanks to Cathy for the extra shrimp! Every thing looked good, 'til we realized that the costs per person outweighed the revenue per person and we had more people attend than expected. (One of the prices of success, I guess.) Then Doug says we gotta pay CST on each $35 application...uh huh. Well, there goes our small surplus out the window!
The Forum itself... It kinda makes a committee feel good when we have received so many positive comments on the whole deal...thank-you for your nice words. Really though, the Speakers did all the work; they're the folks to thank! So many excellent talks, slides and presentations...some said even better than convention-caliber. When you people who put so much into that Forum dust your "mementos," remember what a good job you did and what a service to our community you provided.
"The Rules:" "if your cell phone goes off you get disintegrated!" was the keyword...well, only a few phones were heard...one even in the pocket of a committee member (name withheld, pending extortion payments). If only the government would pass a law on cell phones, instead of gun registration, they might be more popular....
Oh yes, "please ask questions or make comments..." might as well try to push a rope. You should hear the privately discussed reasons people didn't, wouldn't, couldn't ask questions...sort of like when a teenager comes home late and comes up with the stories for the parents.
Next time, we'll pay $500 per question, maybe that'll work. Seriously, thank you to those of you who did ask questions or make comments. It's not easy.
Attendance and Exhibits... Don't you people have any work to do?? We're thinking of 200 people, hoping for 300, room for 400 attendee's...so guess what! We get 470 registrants!
All people involved in organizing the Forum, the CSEG and the CAGC were pretty pleased so many people showed up. Hope you all went home with a "fuller brain" or at least felt more comfortable with what you knew anyway. A special thanks to the Convention Center workers who helped so much with the silhouettes on the screen as they added more chairs at the back...Did I see Homer Simpson working there?
For the Exhibitors: I hope people came in and asked you some questions, and got some good info from you. Thanks for being part of the Forum.
Record of Proceedings... The CSEG is planning to put hardcopy of the talks onto the website, maybe a Special Edition of The Recorder or Journal, so you can refer back to some of the neat (or scary) stuff you heard at the Forum. Watch for it. Maybe some is good enough for Jerry Springer.
Easton, Dave, Bill, Brock, Ron, Bart, Peter, Larry, Ian, Richard, Doug, Margot, Allan, Vern, Neil, Norm, Doug, Charles, Dave, Mike, Wendy, Ray, Nancy, Susan, Heather, Norm & Dave (again), Doug, Cary, Carol, Cathy, Dave (again) & Bruce...you all did a job you can be proud of for a long time. It was a pleasure to work with you.
To all you people who constantly work behind the scenes at CAPP, SEPAC, CAGC & CSEG, and the governments, to allow us to continue to record seismic data so we can all do such a critical (and interesting) job...and keep our homes warm and industries going...Thank you, too.