First Timers Share their Aha Moments

For some people, it hits them the first time they walk into the Plenary Session and see 15,000 other geogeeks. For others, it comes after a chance meeting in the GeoLounge with someone who knows exactly what they’re going through. It’s that moment when you realize that the Esri UC isn’t just another conference—it’s a celebration of geography and innovation, and you play the leading role.

You play the leading role at UC


We recently caught up with several attendees that experienced UC for the very first time in 2012 to find out when it clicked for them.

The Entire Experience

“I think I had these moments all week long. There was so much I wanted to see and attend and be part of, so I guess just being at the UC was my aha moment.”

David Jaurequi, Senior GIS Technician at City of Las Cruces, New Mexico

“I work mostly alone and with people who are often slow to see the uses and applications of GIS. It was great being among people who are often wrestling with the same challenges and generously sharing their ideas and solutions.”

George Durkee, Park Ranger at National Park Service

“It’s difficult to define one aha moment, I had several. But I was very touched by some of the speakers at the plenary sessions Monday.”

Rene Kobbernagel, GIS Specialist at EnergiMidt A/S

Technical Mastery

“My ‘aha’ moment came when I entered my first technical workshop and saw how everything was set up, including the way the message was going to be delivered by the speaker. I didn’t know exactly what to expect from the workshops since I hadn’t participated in this particular conference before, but after I listened to the first speaker talk about solutions to similar issues we were facing and show an actual demo of their solution, I knew I was going to get more than I bargained for from the week.”

Richard Cody, 911 GIS Map Coordinator at Pinellas County Public Safety Services

“I attended a technical workshop and wanted to put what I learned to use immediately, so I grabbed my laptop and went to work. I did okay, but I was missing a few steps so I went to one of the service islands in the EXPO center and talked to an Esri employee to get clarification. At that point, I realized that I could use the technical workshop and one-on-one help to maximize my training and learn almost anything.”

Matt Tansey, GIS Program Manager at Colorado State Forest Service

“I kept asking really novice questions of Esri staff, and expecting them to get exasperated, but they never did. Ever. On the contrary, they stayed with me the whole time. I know it sounds like Esri paid me to say that, but it’s true. Bottom line: The UC is a great environment to learn about GIS, and to help fuel ideas and passion for your GIS vision.”

Chris Ferrara, Owner, CFF Ventures

What was your aha moment? Share it in the comments below and we’ll spread your message on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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