Monday, 1 October 2012

MGUG 2012 is a Success!

The second Manitoba GIS Users Group’s (MGUG) all-day conference was last week on Tuesday September 25, 2012.  Now that it is over, it’s time for a review.

The conference was a fabulous success and the organizers deserve all of the congratulations we can give them.  MGUG made their goal of 500 conference attendees.  The Victoria Inn was an improved venue over last year and had more of a “conference” feel to it.  Last year in my post conference review, I suggested that there was too much separation between the exhibitor floor and the food and refreshments.  Problem solved!  This year, they were within the same room.

Following up on last year’s success, the exhibitor’s floor was once more an amazing assortment of booths and exhibits.   My recommendation for next year:  Allow for poster papers.  With MGUG’s ongoing support of education, the poster paper section could include an educational poster paper section with award for a winner, in addition to any poster papers that business wanted to display.

The conference got off to a great start with an excellent keynote from  Ed Parsons of Google.  Ed was a superb speaker with an interesting message about where Google was and where it was going.  He entertained and dazzled the crowd.   As a Sci-Fi fan, I enjoyed his many subtle or not too subtle Sci-Fi references in his presentation.  Who is next?  Ed Parsons is a tough act to follow, but MGUG has accepted the challenge of continuously improving.

The Presentations were once again well done and diverse.  Fred Meier (Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship) reported the many positive accomplishments from GeoManitoba.  It was good to hear about GeoManitoba, because one of the criticisms of GeoManitoba is its lack of communication.  More than one person commented to me that they have looked up GeoManitoba on the Government web-site and found nothing.  MGUG abandoned the lightning presentations this conference.

The quality of the Panel Discussion at the end of the day was not a surprise to me.  Knowing Greg Carlson, Rob Gerry and David Enns as I do, I expected strong thoughtful responses to each question. Perhaps the only disappointment was the lack of controversy, with everyone agreeing on everything.

Congratulations once again MGUG.  How will you top this year’s conference?

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