I'm thinking about going to the ESRI Federal Users Conference in Washington, DC, January 31-February 2 2006.
Hopefully I will actually be able to attend for a reasonable part of it, but my schedule might be tough- just prior to it is the EPA's Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned session down in Research Triangle Park- I am probably going to attend that event as part of the work we have ongoing with EPA's Geospatial Enterprise Architecture along with the work we did in support of Katrina for the EPA Emergency Operations Center, as well as Geodata services and the Enviromapper for Katrina deployments our team rolled out.
I tend to find that trade shows can come with mixed blessings, as they tend to be everyone selling to everyone else. I have presented at a few shows, and usually that results in getting a lot of people coming up who want to give me their business card, telling me about how wonderful their own company is- "buy our products and services"... Oh, yay. Yet when I ask a technical question about the product or services they are selling, often not much more than a glazed look in return. The more technical types of conferences are the ones I like far better, where the techies can meet and talk- that and ones where they are internal to the agency, typically invitation-only.
I guess the upshot will be, as always, seeing a few old friends (I see Metacarta and a few other familiar faces will be manning booths), perhaps an interesting presentation or two, and some new contacts made. And finally, worst case, what better opportunity to remind some of these agency people and large prime contractors of Public Law 106-50, and subsequently Executive Order 13360, requiring that 3% of Federal contracting dollars to go to Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses, and that there are indeed qualified, competent and capable SDVOSB firms that do geospatial - like ours :).
business, esri, events, federal, geo, Geospatial, gis, mapping, metacarta, procurement, sdvosb, trade shows, veterans, vets