Technical excellence - seven benefits of presenting at an industry conference

Henk Kombrink - Author Portrait - 225x215Henk Kombrink
Senior Geologist

As with many sectors, there are a number of key conferences held across the globe, specifically for experts working in the oil & gas industry. These exhibitions & events provide a great platform from which to share ideas and expertise with fellow specialists and help develop innovative solutions to the challenges we face in the energy space, across the world.

Such conferences are organised by industry bodies, like the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) or the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). There is huge value to be had by attending and presenting technical papers at these events. Collaboration is a vital element in developing the sector and conferences offer an ideal opportunity to amass the knowledge of an international network of leaders. They are also a good way to keep up to date with technologies and opinions, review upcoming publications, share teaching tools and learn about new software and technology.

We have a proud track record of presenting at technical conferences, with our experts regularly invited to speak at a wide variety of exhibitions, from All-Energy and Unconventional Gas in Aberdeen to the SPE International Conference & Exhibition on Formation Damage Control in Louisiana.

We are also very privileged to count a number of previous SPE Distinguished Lecturers among our talented team. Distinguished Lecturers (DL) are selected to present to and share expertise with SPE chapters in various locations across the world. Two of our experts have been honoured to achieve double DL status (having been asked to join the tour on more than one occasion) – a significant achievement given that fewer than 50 individuals have been honoured with double DL status in SPE's 57-year history. And we are fortunate that a senior member of our team is a Board member of the prestigious Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE). Membership of the SPEE is widely regarded as the 'golden passport' for engineers and involves a rigorous acceptance process.

Representation at exhibitions and conferences is not only an effective way of promoting the expertise a company possesses, but it's also a fantastic personal development opportunity for the specialists participating.

We've put together seven of the main benefits of presenting at industry conferences.

1. Personal development

Presenting a paper at a key event looks great on your CV. It's a big deal to speak at a conference. It means your expertise and knowledge is acknowledged, valued and rated highly by your industry. You should shout about it.

2. Expand your own knowledge

Writing a paper is a great way to focus in on your area of expertise, to articulate what you know and present it in a way that will engage and help others. As you write your paper you will start to think of questions you might be asked, and anticipating how to answer those questions will help you build your knowledge even further. Presenting your paper in a global setting will also allow you to learn more about developments in your field around the world.

3. Get out of your comfort zone

Even the most experienced speakers get a touch of nerves before a big conference or event. Getting up to speak in front of your peers might seem a bit daunting but, once you've done it, you'll feel exhilarated and before long you'll have signed up for another one. It's a good way to keep your working life fresh and interesting. Another way of getting your research across is presenting a poster, which may not be as overwhelming as speaking to a large audience. The value of presenting a poster can be equally high as many collaborations have their origin at a discussion about something interesting spotted on display. Please find some useful tips to put together a high impact poster here.

4. Building your company's reputation

Sharing a paper about your particular area of expertise not only helps you personally, building your reputation as a respected expert, it also helps your company. Demonstrating the breadth of knowledge that exists within your company will help to reinforce your company's position in the marketplace, and that can only be a good thing for business which, in turn, helps you. Win-win.

5. Helping others

Trust is vital in business and presenting a paper is a great way to build trust, both personally and professionally. The information and insight that you provide at an event or conference can be crucial for delegates looking to extend and enhance their knowledge and everyone in industry can benefit from shared knowledge.

6. Networking

Conferences are a great way of meeting people, and a valuable way of expanding your network. Meeting like-minded professionals from around the globe is fascinating and, as a speaker, you're guaranteed to make connections with people keen to ask questions and discuss your paper. It's a great way to exchange ideas, share resources and develop lasting friendships with people from all over the world.

7. Put yourself in demand

As well as learning a new skill and being a great string to add to your bow, giving a knock-out presentation at a conference could well be the beginning of something very special. You could find yourself in demand as a speaker and industry expert, being asked to comment on everything from industry publications to newspapers and magazines.