Making a Difference: Why MAPPS Conferences are a Cant Miss

In todays economy, partnering with other firms is crucial to business success. Understanding the impact new technologies, the workforce and government policies will have on the market and business is essential for geospatial firm decision makers. MAPPS conferences provide a forum unlike any other in the geospatial profession in fostering partnerships and providing education for leaders in the community.

Until I became directly involved with MAPPS, I felt I was somewhat alone as a principal in my company when thinking, almost on a daily basis, about how our company and business are impacted by policies and legislation, said Bob Hanson, Senior Vice President, Michael Baker Jr., Inc. (Harrisburg, PA) Each day at a MAPPS conference I wake up knowing I will be learning from other business leaders something that will have an effect on how I may choose to address impacts to my markets or workforce. MAPPS participation, especially at the meeting venues,allows me to speak with others which helps my firm to prepare and plan for future influences.

For over 30 years, MAPPS has prided itself on introducing technology and emerging markets months and in many cases years before they are commonplace. For example, MAPPS held sessions on BIM and interior scanning in 2007 just as the market began to dawn. MAPPS began discussing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the 2010 Summer Conference. At the upcoming summer conference to be heldJuly 22-26in Rockport, ME, sessions will include an update on current regulations, implementation and sensor developments for UAVs.

In addition, a session on mapping of pipelines and other underground infrastructure will review new technologies, current standards and regulations and pending legislative initiatives that could provide new market opportunities.

MAPPS conferences bring together a special group of professionals who have a willingness to share experiences with their peers in an environment that is unlike any other conference in the profession, said Mary Potter, GISP, President, Keystone Aerial Surveys (Philadelphia, PA). The people that attend the conferences are accessible, friendly, and welcoming. While your competitors are in the same room, there is no division. Rather, it feels like a meeting of your partners and friends because in many cases a firm may be a competitor one day and your partner the next.

The conference program not only focuses on market and technological topics that affect the profession, but policy, business development, and workforce issues that impact senior executives. MAPPS attempts to educate its members on business tools, such as social media, to promote their businesses and capabilities. One session in the upcoming meeting will focus on how to build a thought leadership strategy that will aid novice to experienced promoters.

MAPPS is also known for its advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues. During the conference, sessions will address the potential impact of federal privacy on private geospatial firms, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations on LIDAR operations and the implementation of the recently passed highway bill, formally known as the MAP-21 Act.

A MAPPS conference is not complete without the networking opportunities. The unique conference program emphasizes peer-to-peer partnering and information sharing.

The marketing and business development aspect of MAPPS conferences is second to none. We met clients that we had already been working with but never had the opportunity to meet in person. These existing clients then introduced us to other firms, said Russell Hyatt, PSM, Vice President, Hyatt Surveys (Bradenton, FL). MAPPS conferences revolve around an idea of teamwork, so there are plenty of opportunities to network with other firms on both the business and social levels.

Make your own decision by attending the conference. Senior management officials from private geospatial firms are invited to attend the 2013 Summer Conference as a non-member. If a firm joins by the end of the conferenceon July 26, the difference between the member and non-member rate will be credited to the firms membership.

For registration and conference information,