Locate16 is one of the big conferences of spatial sciences and surveying which draws audience from Australia and New Zealand. Though I did not attend the conference, I manage to convince my supervisors that I should attend the Expo (which is a free event).
My original intention is to attend the continuous lightning talks in the Expo. However, I found that lightning talks in a huge auditorium with many booths are not done in right setting. You, as a listener, get easily distracted by all the booths and connections you want to meet.
I spend most of my time in reconnecting with my old networks and visiting one booth to another. Guess what? I am very across on your business with latest updates. But on the flip side, you don't know much what my company do. However, the highlight of the Expo is to reconnect with CEOs who are keen to do business with my company. All I need is to approach these CEOs (they have done business with my company previously) as friends and next thing, they want talk about collaboration. Just need to mention the name of my company and everything flows - no sales pitch, no product selling...
What did I learn from the Expo:
- I think a lot of geospatial conferences is targeted to a walled community. The people who are the industry and converted to think geospatial solutions is everything. Have you seen a medical person coming to an conference or Expo like this? No, despite ESRI may have geofencing solution for ambulance management.
- It is difficult for me to be convinced that some associations can help my business to the next level. My company is not in the geospatial world but we do have partners in that realm. Yes these associations can partner my company with other vendors here and beyond. However, I am not convinced about the value addition to my company. When you join an association, ask yourself on how does it benefit you and your business or what can you contribute?
- How do CEOs talk? Most interesting aspect of the Expo wasn't the booths or technology. It was the time I spent with business owners. Why do I say so? Observe how enthusiastic they were about their solutions and trying to pitch to me on integration. To show their business will make our solutions the master and driven on good quality spatial data. They don't even have to say to me the superiority of their solutions but just stressing we can be complementary partners.
That's my opinion about the Expo. What is your take on the geospatial conferences or Expos you have attended?