Every year there can be only one. This year, the one—the first person to register for Esri UC—is Chris Mack of Marana, Arizona. He was ready for opening day. He locked in his low hotel rates and secured his attendance. Why was registering early so important to Chris? And, what can he teach us about Esri UC? Here’s his story:
Will this be your first time attending Esri UC?
As a 26-year user of Esri I have had the pleasure of attending numerous user conferences including six in Palm Springs and eight in San Diego. In the 1990s, when I was employed internationally, I was fortunate to be able to attend the Esri European UC in Athens, Greece and the Esri Asia Pacific UC in Penang, Malaysia.
What do you look forward to at Esri UC?
Coming from Arizona, I like the July San Diego weather! On Monday I like the Plenary, Map Gallery and Lightning Talks. Then, Technical Workshops are where I spend most of my time to keep up with changes in the technology. At the GIS Solutions EXPO I meet hardware and software vendors and learn about the latest products. I also like the Developers Meet-Up and the Thursday Night Party in Balboa Park.
What would you tell someone who has never attended?
If you use Esri software and have never been to Esri UC, I would say you are missing out on the premier GIS event of the year. If you are going for the first time, I would advise you bring more than one pair of comfortable footwear as the San Diego Convention Center is huge and you will do a lot of walking.
What work do you do with Esri technology?
I am involved in the practical application of geospatial technologies in local government. I have been doing this for 14 years and my roles have evolved with the technology. Initially, I was involved in managing data, performing data analysis, and making maps. Lately, the focus of my work has shifted to web development and data management. I also create and manage map applications with ArcGIS Online and the API for Silverlight.
With tight budgets, how did you explain to your manager the importance of attending?
The Esri UC is the most important professional development event of the year for me. This is what I convey to my manager. I always come away from the conference having learned skills that make me more productive, and I gain a better understanding of the Esri technology direction. Most importantly, I come out the Esri UC reinvigorated, with a list of new techniques and ideas that I want to try out when I get back to the office.
What convinced you to register early?
For me it’s all about getting the government rate at the hotel of my choice. I love a bargain. Esri does a great job with hotels for Esri UC. Getting a reduced room rate makes the approval process of my travel authorization much easier.
You can register today at esri.com/uc