Connecting in California: Experiencing the Esri UC from an Intern’s POV

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Esri User Conference returned last week to sunny San Diego. As a marketing and communications intern at Woolpert, working in our Dayton, Ohio, headquarters, I was given the amazing opportunity to make the trip out west to participate in the world’s largest GIS conference and to coordinate our biggest client event of the year. The experience did not disappoint.

The Conference

Full disclosure: This was my first conference. But even a rookie like me can see that there are many groundbreaking innovations happening in the GIS space. The geospatial industry continues to produce critical and reliable technologies that are tailored to address real client and customer needs. We at Woolpert are proud to contribute to that effort every day. Woolpert is a Gold Partner with Esri, and our team looks forward to this conference, its in-person meetings and the opportunity to collaborate on projects that drive our strategic partnership. In the video below, four of our geospatial expertsSam Moffat, Matthew Johnson, Dan Michalec and Daniel Kruimelshare their thoughts, as well.

GIS has become increasingly dependent on ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise tools, and with products like Indoors becoming more mature, these offerings become more feature-rich each year. Esri developers lean on the ArcGIS Ideas site when advancing their technologies, so if you see an area that can be improved, submit your idea! Developers shared how they appreciate this input and consider these ideas when making updates to their systems.

The Event

Woolpert sees client events as a way to show our appreciation for the outstanding people we work with, and we always want the best for our clients. Every good party has a theme, and as the world gets back in the saddle, we went with a western theme for our event—complete with blinking cowboy pins, Woolpert-branded cowboy hats and drinks with names like the Red, Wild and Blueberry and the Hot Hee-Haw Horse. Over 230 attendees had a great time hanging out and catching up, and we were told multiple times that our event was one of the conference highlights! 

The Connections

As great as the conference and the event were, my biggest and best takeaway from this experience was meeting people from throughout Woolpert and learning more about their roles. Woolpert is a large company with offices all over the world. It is impossible to know everyone, but this opportunity enabled me to connect with some of the folks on the other side of the computer screen. It was nice to be in the same time zone as all of my co-workers for a change, and I must say, discussing work is way more fun over a plate of wings and bottomless tater tots.  

Overall, the Esri UC provided long-overdue opportunities for the Woolpack to get together and share memories, while working with colleagues and clients to learn and share technologies that will advance GIS. This was such a fulfilling experience, and I hope to be back with the team in San Diego next year! 

Shelby Malburg

Shelby Malburg, a marketing and PR intern at Woolpert, is a rising senior at the University of Kentucky. Shelby is majoring in communication with a specialization in human communication and a minor in health advocacy.