As some of you know, I don’t work as a full-time employee for an oil & gas company. This means that I had to make the decision to pay for the cost of attending this function myself. It was not inexpensive after accounting for the cost of tickets, travel, lodging, meals and the other ‘stuff’ you do with friends when you get there. Before I decided to attend, I was discussing the monetary matters with a career landman. He told me that he had paid his own way to go to the Annual Meeting for many years, and he considered it a cost that was well worth it. His advice that day pushed me over the edge to go ahead and attend.
For those of you that have never been, Annual Meeting is not only about educational events. There are social events every night, tours during down time, and a host of private dinners and parties between friends. I found that while I knew about 10-15 people there (out of the ~1100), there were some times that I was lonely or had nobody to visit with. This was partly because I wasn’t sent by my company with other employees, and partly because I simply haven’t done enough yet to know enough people. This was eye-opening for me, because I feel like I am a fairly social person and have met a fair number of people in our field. I learned that I need to do more to meet a wider variety of professionals in our industry. However, there is hope, I was advised by several people that they had similar experiences the first few years of attending. Apparently it gets better over time as you meet more people and make more friends!
Will I be attending again? I certainly hope so! Next year the Annual Meeting will be held in Montreal, and if my schedule allows I am planning to attend. For those of you who have been on the fence about the cost of attending and benefits, I’d like to invite to you jump off the fence. That will make at least one more person I’ll know next year! I was amazed at the amount of work that went into planning the event, and it only made me appreciate the work done by the AAPL staff, officers and directors more. I’ve included a ‘slideshow’ below of some pictures from various events: