Spotlight on Meetings and Conventions
SGA Québec: A mine of knowledge and know-how
From August 20 to 23, 2017, over 700 researchers and specialists in geology of ore deposits from around the world gathered at the Québec City Convention Centre for the 14th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA), an international scientific organization that promotes the science of mineral deposits geology. Founded in Heidelberg, Germany in 1965, the Society has more than 1,300 members.
A first event in North America in over 26 years
Under the theme “Mineral Resources to Discover,” the event welcomed experts and students from 40 countries. It was the first time in over 26 years that the SGA’s meeting was held in North America, thanks to the Georges Beaudoin and his event management team. “After being held in several countries in Europe, China and Chile, it was time to bring the meeting to Canada,” explained Mr. Beaudoin, Professor at the Department of Geology and Geology Engineering at Université Laval in Québec City.
Mr. Beaudoin also sits on the SGA’s executive committee and is a Holder of Agnico-Eagle Industrial Research Chair in Mineral Exploration. He is the Director of DIVEX Innovation Network and editor of the international scientific journal, Mineralium Deposita. He is also very active in a myriad of research projects and his a member of Québec’s Ambassadors’ Club.
Stellar event planning pays off
And yet he took the time to organize the Society’s 14th Biennial Meeting. “Sure, it is a lot of work, but I knew what I was getting into,” he chuckled. “This was not the first event I organized. However, I was lucky to be backed by an amazingly capable and responsible team.”
Mr. Beaudoin and his team were able to attract very high-profile conference speakers and put together a myriad of scientific sessions and courses on everything from gold to high-tech minerals to gem research. “Our goal was to share knowledge and best practices regarding mineral resources and the impact mining has on them. About one-third of our attendees were students; a part of the event was also to pass down our know-how to the next generation.”
Event attendees discover Québec City and mining in Canada
How did Mr. Beaudoin and his team win the bid for Québec City? “We had an unbeatable presentation. The breadth of our proposal showed the governing committee just how Québec City could fit the bill for the event in so many ways. For one, the province of Québec and Canada are leaders in the mining industry, making the city a compelling backdrop for our program.” Secondly, Québec City already had an outstanding reputation in playing host to several events organized by the Geological Association of Canada. “People just love Québec City!”
Another interesting aspect of the meeting in Québec City was how Mr. Beaudoin and his team put together no less than eight different excursions for delegates to discover a spectrum of mineral deposits and mining districts. These trips were either pre- or post-meeting and had attendees travel to remote locations in Québec, Canada and even South America! “That certainly added a level of complexity to the event logistics,” Mr. Beaudoin remembered.
Mr. Beaudoin indicated that his biggest event challenge was making sure everything ran smoothly like a well-oiled machine. “Luckily, I had a great organizational committee, a trustworthy logistics staff at the Québec City Convention Centre and the expert support of Québec City’s Ambassadors’ Circle,” he said. “Only a solid-gold team like that could pull of such an unforgettable event!