We are coming off of a highly successful GeoConvention in May. The steering committee, volunteers, and staff deserve the gratitude of our membership. The GeoConvention is the activity that has the greatest impact on our society, creating opportunities for education, peer review, networking, business, and strengthening morale and camaraderie among the membership. The responsibility is enormous and this year’s stable of volunteers showed such commitment to our event and to our societies.
Hopefully by now most of the membership has heard a little about the new GeoConvention Partnership between the CSEG, the CSPG, and the CWLS. The agreement was negotiated over the course of years, and it was our own Rob McGrory that had the vision and stamina to carry this initiative to its final ratification between the executives of the three societies. It is a landmark achievement and an important milestone in the history of our society. The three societies are very excited about this initiative and we look forward to a strong impact on our annual convention and on Canadian geoscientists in general.
The annual convention has gone by a variety of names over the years. People might ask, “Are you going to the CSEG?” or “When is the CSPG this year?” Formally, it was called the CSEG/CSPG/CWLS Joint Annual Convention, so you can see how it was typically abbreviated from the twelve letters down to the four letters of an individual’s respective society. We suffer from a branding problem.
Each year, we have a new steering committee, and we have been incredibly fortunate to have new, energetic volunteers each year that bring new ideas to the table. Although the energy and ideas are essential to a successful convention, the annual turnover results in some inconsistency and a lot of re-inventing the wheel. Ideally, we would have some fundamentals remain constant – the GeoConvention brand, logo, etc. – and we would have streamlined processes so that we can better leverage the enthusiasm and fresh brain power of each new crew of passionate volunteers. Consistency will help us market more effectively and deliver more efficiently.
The GeoConvention Partnership is managed by of a board of directors representing the three societies. It is a legal entity unto itself, with the sole responsibility of delivering the GeoConvention conference every year, starting in 2015. We were pleasantly surprised by the calibre of candidates who applied for the position, and the directors of the Partnership selected Norman Leach from the list of highly qualified applicants. Norman will be responsible for not only the delivery of the convention, but for developing and executing a vision for future growth of our conference.
Our convention has naturally evolved to reflect the maturity of our basin. New opportunities for geophysicists are in the development of unconventional plays and in field-development applications such as microseismic monitoring. This is a strong growth area with opportunities for new technology development in addition to development of a new hydrocarbon system. Unconventional resources have become a major focus of conferences and workshops over the past years.
But, there is another kind of geophysicist in Canada who has managed to not change with the times, and has applied a conventional exploration skill set to other basins around the world. Basins like the Zagros Mountains or the high plains of the Colombian Llanos that are less mature in their exploration cycle and still have significant exploration problems to solve. I would love to see our GeoConvention become an international destination for explorationists around the world.
With each step we take towards a more consistent convention delivery and solid branding, we will be more effective getting the message out about our beloved convention.