Highlights from the Virtual 2021 Esri User Conference Experience

07-13-2021 10:01 AM
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:warning: Thank you for joining us! If you missed any sessions due to conflicts or technical difficulties, workshops will be made available for replay.

  • Monday, July 12: Some sessions have been restored for replay in the platform from Monday, July 12, please re-check your session for a status.

  • Tuesday, July 13: Our technical teams are aware that the issue is persisting and are working on it right now. We apologize for the inconvenience.  Any of this morning's sessions you missed will be made available to you as a recording, and you can view the plenary here as we continue to work on this. Please look out for additional announcements regarding sessions as we work through a solution for your event experience. 



This year, the event platform had a whole new vibrant interface to welcome more than 50,000 registered attendees from around the world. Responsive motion graphics react to every scroll and motion stroke across the virtual platform, drawing users into interactive information elements and guided navigation to User Conference activities.

One of the interactive elements in the platform celebrates our global community with a 3D Map, where users can click around the world to see where fellow attendees are tuning in from.  John Nelson spent some time with Nick Frunzi to share how the map was made during UC Central Live.


Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, a Wildlife Ecologist and Conservation Scientist, and Nick Frunzi, Esri’s Director of Customer Experience, returned as UC Central Live hosts to present special segments and live discussions with Esri staff and special guests about their thoughts and insights on topics buzzing around the User Conference and about real-world GIS applications. 

After another awe-inspiring plenary, Brian Cross, Lauren Bennett, and Sud Menon of Esri discussed their highlights.


Pictured left to right: Brian Cross, Lauren Bennett, Sud Menon, and Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant discuss the highlights from the opening Plenary session, sharing their thoughts on the capabilities, possibilities, and advancements of GIS technology.

Create Your Learning and Networking Experience

Build Your Agenda



 Add interesting sessions to your agenda by clicking the “Add to Schedule” button and manage your schedule by clicking the calendar icon in the top navigation menu. Please see the message above for more information.

Connect with Attendees and Exhibitors



Connect with other participants and exhibitors on the platform. Look up your colleagues or Esri staff, distributors, and partners in the Connect and Expo sections.

For live assistance, go to the Virtual Info Desk, where you can get answers to general questions, connect with Industry Solutions and Customer Service representatives.



Join the UC GeoPros Competition


The top ten Super GeoPros who earn points in the platform by finding Easter eggs planted throughout the event, use networking features, and engage with the Expo will earn a custom swag bag featuring Esri merch. Visit this page from the bottom of the event homepage in the platform to see your score!



Enjoy the Free Digital Swag Bag, Shop Online Stores


Our digital swag bag has some great new content! Download new wallpapers, origami and coloring activities, read the digital Esri Map Book Volume 36 and get a 3-month subscription to National Geographic.  Go to the Digital Swag Bag

You can also shop for books, software, and merch:

📚 Esri Press Books:
 Check out what’s in store -  2021 User Conference Preview from Esri Press



Look for your next role in the GIS Jobs Board

Check out GIS Jobs in Esri Community to share your job listing or to learn about new opportunities. The quick link for the GIS Job Board is in the footer of the event platform.




Browse the Virtual Map Gallery

Back on the UC Central Live stage, the Mappy Hour panel with Nathan Shephard, Edie Punt, and Ken Field, discussed a few maps from the Virtual Map Gallery. Take a look at the gallery to explore maps up close and learn more about the stories behind them.

One of the maps highlighted during Mappy Hour was this thematic map that takes us back to San Diego with Esri Community member @BarbaraKent. Check out Barking Dogs Along Our Route to see where Barbara experienced a range of “Maybe 1 or 2 Woofs” to “Crazy Amounts of Barking & Lots of Running” with observational data collected from taking walks during the COVID-19 pandemic.


🏅 Special Esri Community Badges for Award Winners and UC Presenters


Map Gallery Winners and UC Presenters with accounts in Esri Community have special badges added to their profiles to recognize their participation in one of the biggest events in the GIS industry, the Esri User Conference! Connect with these users from their profile to follow their latest activity in the community or reach out and have a conversation with them about their work. Congratulations to all the winners and UC presenters!



View a message from Jack Dangermond and see who won in the categories of the President’s Award, Enterprise GIS Award, Making A Difference Award, Special Achievement in GIS (United States and Global), Map Gallery, Young Scholars, Esri Innovation Program Student of the Year, Tribal Story Map, and Esri Community MVPs! 🎉  More to come on Esri Community Award winners!

Go to Awards | 2021 Esri User Conference 


That concludes the quick overview of features and highlights from around the platform that you don’t want to miss! Subscribe to the User Conference Blog Board for more recaps and updates.

About the Author
Community Content Manager | GIS tech enthusiast, Marketing Communications professional, and former customer of Esri. I'm here to share stories and highlight content from community members in Esri Community. Industry experience: County Government, Health & Human Services, and Business.