Esri User Conference Behind-the-Scenes: GIS Managers' Open Summit

06-13-2018 01:18 PM
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What is the GIS Managers’ Open Summit?

Play-doh figures of dials and chartsThe GIS Managers’ Open Summit (GISMOS) is an all-day interactive experience followed by the new GIS Managers track with eight sessions on Wednesday and Thursday of the User Conference. The summit focuses on showing people with a GIS background how to be successful as leaders. Adam Carnow the Community Evangelist, explains the summit aims to “turn managers into leaders.”

The summit began in 2010 at the User Conference with a meet-up of 30 people and the Managers in GIS LinkedIn group. Since then, GISMOS has grown to include 180 attendees.

WLarge group of people shaking handsho should be attending this summit?

Anyone that is a manager or a leader of a GIS team, and even future managers/leaders can attend the GISMOS. This could mean CIO’s, managers, IT leaders or anyone that wants to one day lead their team.

Registration is free, and seating is limited. You must be registered for the User Conference to attend this summit. Please click the link below to register.

Register Now >>

What should I expect at the summit?


Among the other GISMOS activities this year, we are going to have an Esri led presentation focusing on the executive and elected officials’ view of GIS, and three guest speakers. The seating will be designed to encourage activities and discussions between presentations.

I asked the GISMOS team what made these guest speakers standout, and they expressed that the presenters have a strong handle on the business-side of GIS. They show the power that GIS can have and how their GIS work has transformed their organizations. The GISMOS team hopes that the speakers will be able to inspire the attendees in their own work.


Group discussion at a round table with sticky notes on tableGISMOS is not just a day of inspirational presentations. The emphasis is also on networking and the interactions between participants.

The day starts off with an icebreaker. This is your opportunity to make many new connections.

Group discussions are held after each presentation using the Lean Coffee method for meetings. The group discussion helps further the understanding of the presentation topics. At the end of each discussion, attendees are asked to share the topics they discussed. Fortunately, this will be very simple when you already have your sticky notes ready!

Please see the attached agenda for more details!

Tips from the Team:

For Discussion:

For our former GISMOS attendees, what made you choose to go to the GISMOS, and what was your favorite part?

About the Author
I just graduated from UC Irvine in June. I am working at Esri helping with the User Conference until I leave for the Peace Corps next year.