Top 10 Highlights & Bottom 10 Lowlights from the INFORMS 2014 Annual Meeting

Syncopation's top highlights and lowlights of INFORMS Annual Meeting 2014 in San Francisco

Syncopation Software’s INFORMS Booth

We’re back from the INFORMS 2014 Annual Meeting, and it was a doozy. If you were not able to attend, we’ve taken the sting out of that by giving you the high- and low-lights from the event.


  1. Our well attended official DPMX software demo, and the on-demand demos requested in the booth. We’re jazzed about DPMX and love talking about it.
  2. Our awesome swag! You know you’re doing something right when you’re constantly being asked “Can I just take one of these?” or even better, “How much does this cost?”.
  3. DA’s 50th anniversary talks and gala, featuring Ron Howard and Howard Raiffa in the flesh.
  4. The abundant traffic at our exhibitor booth, which outpaced previous years despite being in a different hotel than the Decision Analysis tracks.
  5. Technical talks in the DA tracks from people we hadn’t heard from before.
  6. Catching up with old friends and meeting some that we’ve traded hundreds of e-mails with over the years in person for the first time.
  7. All the wonderful food we ate and spirits we drank at Colibri Mexican Bisto, Mikkeller Bar, L’Ottavo Ristorante, Zuni Cafe, just to name a few.
  8. Close air support from our engineer back at the ranch in Bangor.
  9. A refreshing run along the Embarcadero for one of us (the others couldn’t be convinced of its heathfulness), the morning after a tamer evening (i.e., one that doesn’t fall under Lowlight #9 below). A good morning’s sleep for the others of us.
  10. More than 5000 attendees!


  1. A hotel with 1,911 rooms and a lobby the size of a boxcar deli whose level of noise is comparable to that of a Mötorhead concert (cf. Highlight #10).
  2. Everyone else’s swag: C’mon INFORMS exhibitors, austerity sucks, up your swag game!
  3. Marching left out of the Hilton Union Square ravenous and blindly following my Yelp app to the heart of the Tenderloin. Yikes!
  4. The ridiculous serpentine Starbuck’s line in above mentioned boxcar lobby of the Hilton.
  5. The BART Saturday schedule (apparently no attempt at low-carbon transport from the airport goes unpunished).
  6. The White-horse Inn, San Francisco. It looked like the perfect local dive but we tried thrice over to eat there to no avail! If the cook’s in jail, bail him out!
  7. The food options at the Detroit airport, with a 3H 40M layover ahead of me, and ending up at the largely unpalatable “Slapshotz Bar and Grill”.
  8. The INFORMS 2014 Annual Meeting Badge Reader App, more specifically the bugs. The App had the potential to be a highlight, but the obvious bugs sunk it to a mostly lowlight experience.
  9. How some of us felt certain mornings after consuming rich food at {enter restaurant from Highlight #7} w/a little {enter spirit/wine/beer} mixed in (the dreaded yet inevitable flip-side of Highlight #7 above).
  10. Saying goodbye to the folks we only see once a year.

See you in Philly next year.