Putting together the Annual Conference is a huge endeavor and one that could not be done without volunteers, sponsors and exhibitors. Thank you to everyone who made the 2023 WLIA Annual Conference a success.
February weather in Wisconsin always makes for an interesting conference and in 2023 it was no different. With snow forecasted in the north and ice forecasted for the south, the days leading up to the conference were a frenzy of activity behind the scenes to make everything work. Thanks to the new registration system and the virtual option we were able to pivot some of those people that were not able to travel into the virtual session so they didn’t miss out on the keynotes and several sessions. All in all, we had approximately 300 people attend in person and 37 people attend virtually. We are in the process of editing the videos from the Virtual Option and will have those available soon to registrants of both the In-person and Virtual Conferences. We are also working with Esri to re-schedule the two workshops that were cancelled. Please keep an eye out for information on that soon.
Our Welcome and Keynote Speakers were very well received. Paul Wolter, Bill Quackenbush and Dr. Marcus Lewis spoke on the history of the land and the people who lived here for thousands of years. Their discussions were thoughtful, passionate and eye-opening. Dr. Joseph Kerski kicked things off on Friday morning with an energetic and impassioned session that sparked a fire on the importance of spatial thinking and gave us the keys to our “Geo-future.” He made his Storymap available to us. Be sure to check it out. Thank you for making them all feel welcome and appreciated.
Once again, our membership knocked it out of the park for the WLIA Foundation!
The Silent Auction raised $7228 after fees, and with the additional funds raised from the 50/50 raffles and direct donations, our grand total was $14,984! The WLIA Foundation Endowment is now over $50,000, which means we can subsequently self-fund two $1000 scholarships directly forever. Thank you to Mari Pietz and the rest of the fundraising crew, and THANK YOU to our membership who came through in a big way.
If you're interested in volunteering for next year's conference, please let us know. Many hands are needed to put an event of this scale on. See you at our Spring Regional in Eau Claire!