I spent this past Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (April 30th – May 2nd) at the 2012 Esri Petroleum GIS Conference (it used to be called PUG (Petroleum User Group)). It was at the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB) in Houston, TX. I am not a fan of driving downtown, I really do not like traffic, but it was worth it. I was in booth 605 representing TractBuilder, hawking the TractBuilder Tools for ArcGIS (extensions to ArcMap for creating features based on legal descriptions, both Metes & Bounds and Aliquot/Quartering), Blink Server, Mapping Services, and our partner’s datasets (USGDR, Valtus, and Hart Energy Products). I got to see several people that I only see at such gatherings as well as meet clients that I’ve only spoken to on the phone or communicated with via email; it’s good to put a face with the name.
Since I was in the exhibit hall all day each day I did not get to attend any of the user presentations, technical sessions, or roundtables; but I heard they went well. The food was pretty good, well day three was just so-so, day two was the best; fajitas! About 1,700 people attended the event, I do not know how many came into the exhibit area, I definitely didn’t talk to everyone; but that’s okay, it is a niche product. This is the second year it has been at the George R. Brown. In the past attendance to the exhibit hall has been higher, not only because it used to be in the Energy Corridor (part of Houston near the Galleria where many oil and gas companies have “set-up shop”) not Downtown, but also because there was Exhibit Hall Only attendance available for $25 (before that it was even free), and people would come down on their lunch break or for a little in the afternoon to see what’s-what. Esri wants to emphasis the talks.
The best thing was to be able to talk to people interested in the software while having an existing customer there to give us props, on both our products and our support. I tried a couple different booth setup options. It was great seeing everyone. Thank you to those who came by the booth. And I look forward to seeing everyone there next year!