Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 14 2016

How This Major Science Conference Is Making The Most Of Its Host Destination

Staci Wuokko


When the American Association of Petroleum Geologists returns to Calgary for the first time in a decade, the action won’t just happen inside Calgary’s famous BMO Centre at Stampede Park. The program is designed to help more than 7,000 attendees and exhibitors do what everyone who comes to Calgary should do: explore.

“The citizens of the city are outdoor people who run to the mountains when the chance arises,” Paul MacKay, General Chair of the AAPG 2016 Annual Convention & Exhibition, writes in a welcome letter to attendees. “ACE 2016 will give you that chance with a slate of Field Trips and Short Courses that will allow you to see great outcrops, stunning scenery and how to apply what we observe in nature to the sub-surface.”

From a pre-conference trip to nearby Dinosaur Provincial Park to an all-day, post-conference adventure in scenic Yoho National Park, the conference will capitalize on Calgary’s proximity to so many of Canada’s most prized natural possessions. Many organizations aim to pack education and networking opportunities into a few days, but Calgary delivers so many opportunities for geosciences that AAPG has to expand the schedule. In fact, the convention will offer more than 30 of its Field Trips and Short Courses in pre- and post-convention time slots.

More Than Meeting Content

While attendees will be able to take advantage of chances to discover the geoscience highlights near the city, Calgary will give them plenty of reasons to take a break from their professional responsibilities and enjoy the thriving downtown, too. Carolyn Watson, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Meetings + Conventions Calgary, says attendees will be able to use a customized show-your-badge discount available through the Calgary Unplugged mobile app. The only challenge they may face is choosing a limited number of culinary experiences; Calgary has been steadily gaining attention as one of Canada’s top dining scenes. 

MORE: Calgary’s F&B Leaders Offer Conference Organizers Advice

Attendance Building For AAPG

The organization is already seeing some impressive numbers for the 2016 experience; the committee has received a record number of abstracts for review. The team at Meetings + Conventions Calgary has also been aiming to help AAPG see some more successful statistics. “We travelled to the AAPG 2015 Convention in Denver to help promote the city,” Watson says. “As the organization prepares to come back to Calgary, we’re committed to giving as much support as possible to ensure the leaders of the geosciences community recognize why they can’t afford to miss Calgary.”

The work is paying off. The organization expects to attract participants from more than 72 countries around the world. When they arrive, I can personally promise they’ll have plenty to see, do and discover. Click here to check out my thoughts from my visit to the city last summer.

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