Saturday, October 29, 2016

Conference Wrap

The 2016 GIS/LIS Consortium Conference is in the books and wow, what a great week! The conference saw a record registration (700+), record number of Wednesday workshop attendees (300+) and a record number of vendors. I would have to say that for me this was the best conference yet, I've been attending since 2005 and it just keeps getting better.

Some highlights include:

1. I really enjoyed both my morning and afternoon workshop, especially the session on ArcGIS Server Administration with Justin Hansen. Justin has been providing tech support for both City of Red Wing and Goodhue County and he is pretty much god-mode.

2. The Wednesday morning keynote featured a marine archeologist talking about Great Lakes shipwrecks so yes, I was in my happy place :)

3. Canal Park in Duluth is such a fun place, I adore the historic Lift Bridge and spending time next to the Big Lake.

4. Supper and Big Boat Oatmeal Stout at Fitgers :)

5. I stayed at the Canal Park Lodge and the Tuesday night before workshops the fire alarm went off at about 9:00 pm. Everyone had to evacuate and we waited until the Duluth FD gave us the all clear (it was windy cold but worse for the teens that had to jump out of the pool!).

6. Fave map poster of the conference was on 'Phantom Islands of Lake Superior', what's not to love about that? :)

7. Got home late afternoon and then we went out for supper down at Kelly's to debrief over beers. Yes, that's a 23 oz dry Irish stout for the audience at home, ha ha!

I would have to say that for me personally the theme of this conference was change - so many people have moved on to new positions with other agencies, even those who'd been where they are for 10-15 years. The other big change is that clearly I'm no longer the 'new kid on the block' as I felt ten years ago - in the Server class Justin asked for a show of hands on a long-retired feature of ArcGIS Server and I was the only one who raised my hand. I guess that with time and age these things happen, I'm just glad that I'm still getting support to attend, learn, participate and give back to our great Minnesota GIS community!!

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