Memphis, US: The Geospatial Information & Technology Association (GITA) Board of Directors approved a plan that will allow the association to continue to provide services to the geospatial industry as a volunteer organisation. This is a move necessitated by several years of declining conference attendance and membership, recently made more acute by increasing financial pressures on operations.
Through a newsletter, Bob Samborski, Executive Director of GITA, stated, “Last April, Board of Directors made the decision to discontinue the annual conference format, given the declining trend in attendance as well as the significant financial commitments that have to be made, sometimes several years in advance, to secure an appropriate venue that would accommodate an event that has been a mainstay of the association.”
The letter added, “We sought to replace the traditional annual conference format with a different type of educational event planned for this May. This event, the ‘Thought Leadership Symposium,’ had to be cancelled due to lack of support.”
The letter further clarified, “Given these and other related developments, the GITA Board of Directors was forced to make some difficult decisions to preserve the basic activities of the association. The good news is that GITA will continue to be an educational resource for geospatial professionals into the future.”
“GITA is transitioning to a new business model that will be less dependent on conferences and physical events, and one that will offer individuals and organisations new and different ways to participate and gain benefit from participation in the wider geospatial community. The go-forward plan includes a transition to a volunteer operation, with the GITA staff transitioning from full-time employment at the end of June”, the statement concluded.