SolidWorks World 2002 – Las Vegas

Part four of my SolidWorks World recaps.

Las Vegas is my town, and SolidWorks World is my conference. I’ve been there at least 20 times over the years, and in 2002 I got the chance to be in one of my favorite places for SolidWorks World. The trip didn’t start well. I was up at 3am for a 6am flight to Dallas, then my connection that was delayed for two hours. I finally arrived in Las Vegas at around noon local time and decided to forego a shuttle and take a cab instead. Big mistake!! The line was really long and it took me almost an hour to get the cab. When I arrived at the hotel, the check-in lines were 30 – 40 people deep. Of course, I got in the line that moved the slowest. I was starting to wind down a little as I got in the elevator to head upstairs. I opened the door to my room and IT HADN’T BEEN CLEANED YET!! I managed to flag down a housekeeper and asked please, just change the sheets and give me some towels. She complied and at last I could settle in. I decided to rest a bit and laid down around 3pm. The next thing I knew it was 6am the next morning.

I attended two roundtable discussions in 2002; drawings (again) and eDrawings. The selection criteria had changed from the previous year, and attendees had to show a genuine interest in helping SolidWorks move forward. The roundtables were a big hit, and I still can’t get over the interaction between the users and the program managers. It was the kind of discussion that truly draws out some wonderful ideas, and it was a genuine pleasure to be involved.

SolidWorks World 2002 was also a milestone for the SNUG committee. Phil Sluder of “Tips and Tricks” fame had joined the committee, and Greg Jankowski of SolidWorks had been given the responsibility of working with us. The SNUG meeting was a big success, with more than 30 user group leaders attending. We realized that we had some work to do when it was revealed that only 60% of those in attendance even knew that SNUG existed. Between the SNUG meeting and subsequent meetings with Greg, we generated a list of things to work on in the coming year. The SNUG (now SWUGN) committee has come a long way since then, and 2002 was really the turning point.

I have to mention the offsite event. We were bussed over to the Hard Rock Café for a night of live music, and a mile long Sushi buffet (thanks Stace!). Downstairs was the oxygen bar, and a place where you could have temporary tattoos placed just about anywhere you wanted. The whole thing was a bit surreal; watching normally reserved “engineering types” kick it up on the dance floor, whoop it up downstairs, and really have a great time.

There isn’t one thing that stands out about SolidWorks World 2002. The offsite event, meeting Kate McGraw of Solid Solutions and Phil Sluder in person, the Mandalay Bay hotel, the PDM sessions (we were evaluating systems that year), and of course the general sessions, are all things I remember fondly. The trend continued in Las Vegas; the conference just gets better every year

Next..Back to Orlando with a broken wing

Matthew West

SolidWorks alumnus. I like plate reverb, Rat pedals, Thai curry, New Weird fiction, my kids, Vespas, Jazzmasters, my wife & Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not necessarily in that order.