OGC North America Forum Expo was a successful marketing event

At the OGC North America Forum Expo at Oracle's Reston, Virginia headquarters on September 19, 16 OGC vendor and integrator members showed their OGC open standards based solutions to 152 visitors representing 108 US federal agencies and organizations.

NAF Expo 2012

The exhibitors were:

  • BAE Systems
  • Compusult
  • DigitalGlobe
  • Envitia
  • ESRI
  • ExactEarth Ltd.
  • GeoEye
  • George Mason University
  • Intergraph
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Luciad
  • OpenGEO
  • Terra Pixel
  • The Carbon Project
  • The PYXIS innovation

This free Expo, a kick-off event for the new OGC North America Forum (NAF), was hosted by Oracle and organized by NAF members and OGC staff.

Many of the founding members of NAF are technology providers who implement OGC standards in products and open architecture solutions for government agencies the providers have served for many years. These companies would like to see their products and services put to good use by other agencies, all of which are under pressure to reduce costs and use the latest information technologies to do more with less. With this in mind, the Expo organizers, people familiar with the Washington government technology business, focused their outreach efforts on agencies that depend heavily on geospatial information but whose current systems don't yet take full advantage of all that open standards provide.

The outreach efforts were successful. Post event feedback from the exhibitors was overwhelmingly positive. Attendees expressed their satisfaction with the event and their new appreciation of both OGC standards and the offerings of the exhibitors.

Besides providing market exposure for the exhibitors and education for the attendees, the Expo served another NAF objective, which is to make NAF member company marketing departments more aware of the marketing value of OGC membership. Particularly in large OGC member companies, marketers often have little awareness of how OGC membership provides unique opportunities for messaging, customer contact, and exposure to potential new customers and market intelligence. For a number of marketing professionals at the Expo, it was their first or closest contact with their OGC member representative colleagues.

A number of business representatives for OGC government members attended. They were, of course, familiar with the vendors and familiar with OGC standards. For many of them, however, as might be expected, it was their first exposure to the OGC North America Forum. This still-new organization within the OGC has much to offer technology-using organizations, and we look forward to their increased participation in the coming months. If you work for an OGC member organization and you would like to have your organization join the OGC North America Forum, please contact me at 647-765-7216 or ttaylor [at] opengeospatial.org.