by John Doershuk, Co-founder and CEO
ECR Logic co-founder Mary De La Garza and I demonstrated our FieldPro product for three days as exhibitors at the annual meeting of the North American Lakes Management Society (NALMS) held this year in Cincinnati, Ohio. NALMS bills itself as an international symposium, and although there were plenty of regional attendees, there were indeed folks from all over the US and international representatives, too. Approximately 400 attendees participated including about four dozen organizations there as exhibitors, like ECR Logic. The NALMS organizers did a fantastic job of integrating the exhibits into the symposium, insuring maximum interaction. I’ve been to plenty of conferences where the exhibits are seemingly an afterthought, often tucked away so attendees have to really make an effort to find them. Not so at NALMS! Breakfast and lunch, along with mid-morning and afternoon refreshments, were served in the same room as the exhibit booths, and there was an evening reception the first full day of the program geared towards encouraging exhibitor-attendee interaction! These arrangements made for a very welcoming feel for the exhibitors and was much appreciated by all.
NALMS was ECR Logic’s first major foray in customer discovery for our FieldPro software outside of our professional comfort zone of archaeology and historic preservation. There were no archaeologists at NALMS but loads of limnologists, hydrologists, and biologists. Several people asked about the term “cultural” in our company name — “Environmental and Cultural Research Logic” — and were uniformly approving of our company perspective on the importance of including people (and their behaviors) in studies of the natural world! We were able to have 40+ extended, high-quality conversations with consultants from small and large private environmental firms; representatives from local, regional, and state-level government agencies; academics specializing in lake-related research; and citizen-scientist members of watershed and lake management organizations. We collected dozens short online survey responses which we need to explore, but our general sense was that there is strong interest in what FieldPro has to offer! Mary and I want to give a special shout out of thanks to our exhibit booth neighbor, John Szymanski, Director of Marketing for Hull, Inc. John is a veteran exhibitor and proved an excellent mentor as we navigated our first experience!