The November 1997 SEG Convention in Dallas was truly outstanding. This convention is the only international event of the SEG. I went to the SEG council meetings during the convention and there were over 100 SEG representatives from around the world.
The convention floor was big. There was around 1200 booth spaces sold at the SEG in the Dallas Convention Center. The design of the large booths was glitzy and high tech. There were laser light shows, multi-screen video presentations, and demonstration theaters. All put together for three short days of intensive exhibit time. The major international geophysical contractors are exceptional in their efforts to sell goods and services to the customers.
There was no lack of effort or pizzazz from the Calgary (and other Canadians!) crowd. Many Canadian companies were represented, both big and small. And the larger Canadian companies competed head-on and with equal sophistication to the American and European contractors. Veritas, Enertec, Kelman, Geo-X,HampsonRussell and others demonstrated their products or services with the goal of capturing the interest of the geophysicists from international companies.
The exhibit floor at the SEG in Dallas was only part of this international exhibition. There were pre- and post-convention courses and workshops, SEG council meetings, technical sessions and social events. If you weren't focused, you were in danger of being overwhelmed by the total amount of raw information.
What does this mean to the Canadian SEG? This society hosts one local convention a year. The CSEG annual convention attracts 1500 to 2000 people and supports the society both technically and financially. The CSEG is also experimenting with smaller topic-specific forums. An example of this is the November 1997 HRAM forum. This event attracted 200 people and produced a technical legacy for the society.
But in terms of technical conferences, the CSEG is currently in a unique position.
In a span of two short years, the CSEG is participating in three major conventions. Those conferences are Geo-Triad 98, SEG 2000 and Geo-Canada 2000. Each conference involves this society with a slightly different backdrop.
The first one, Geo-Triad 98 is to be held in June of this year. Besides the CSEG, Geo-Triad involves the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (CSPG) and the Canadian Well Logging Society (CWLS). This show will focus on the Canadian oil and gas exploration industry. One note about Geo-Triad 98, it is being held at the University of Calgary. Although not ideal, this larger facility gives the organizing committee more room to maneuver. The CSEG and CSPG have out grown the current Calgary Convention Center, which limits the organizing committees and the type of events held. The exhibit floor at the speed skating oval at U of C will be four times larger than the convention center.
Geo-Canada 2000 is another unique event. This one is also Canadian but with a more widespread geologic theme. The CSEG will be only one of several geoscientifically-based societies celebrating the geosciences. Geo-Canada 2000 will be held May or June 2000.
Finally, the SEG International Convention will be held in Calgary in August 2000. This will be a convention of 8,000 to 10,000 geophysicists from around the world. The convention, this last year in Dallas, will be here in Calgary. It's a long overdue event. The CSEG is one of the largest chapters in the SEG and this city contributes more "geophysically" than Los Angeles or Washington. Despite this, the SEG convention has not come to Calgary in recent history. One note, our SEG 2000 committee will be working hard to overcome some of the short-comings of facilities in Calgary.
Conventions and conferences are intensive and eye-opening. You can' t help but be intrigued by this upcoming trio of exceptional events. It is a transfer of knowledge, and opportunity to learn and to educate others.