This year will mark my tenth straight year at ESRI/UC, so it’s time for some reflection. The show has more than doubled in size from my first trip, but has always been the largest geospatial-centric event throughout this time frame. The news from the event has always been much anticipated, and there are hints of a few surprises this year.
From my very first exposure, the visibility and sincerity of Jack Dangermond has been a highlight. In those early years, I recall being greeted by Jack personally at the entrance to the ESRI pool party at the Marriott. There he was, without the typical CEO entourage, welcoming everyone and encouraging us all to have a good time. While the event was smaller then, it still stands out as one of the more personal touches by an executive that I’ve ever witnessed.
It’s that sincerity, and customer-centric vibe, that has always been front and center at this event. The message is heavily on the customer, and what the customer is doing with the technology. ESRI is a master at getting the word out about their customers, whether it’s the annual conference, regional and focused conferences, the tabloid ArcNews, the magazine ArcUser, all the books from ESRI Press. The message is always clear that GIS has an impact.
I’m looking forward to this year’s event for many reasons. It’s the first year that I’ll be there with V1. With our somewhat smaller set of interests, the always overwhelming event will be somewhat more manageable. With that said, I’m booked solid and looking forward to the many interviews, meetings and sessions on the schedule. There’s a nice program on climate change, a good focus on conservation, and the vendor showcase always turns up some surprises.
We’re having record heat in Denver now, with the temp hitting 104 degrees yesterday. It’s going to be nice to enjoy the temperate mid-70s climate of San Diego, surrounded by hordes of like-minded professionals for the event that sets the tone for the geospatial industry.