SolidWorks World 2005 – Orlando

The last in a series of SolidWorks World recaps

SolidWorks World 2005 was déjà vu all over again (sorry Yogi). Returning to the Coronado Springs Resort for the third time in five years, attendance was high, the exhibitors were back in force, and the weather was great.

I’ll remember SolidWorks World 2005 as my favorite conference. In December 2004, I joined the SolidWorks team as User Community Coordinator. Imagine my joy after six-plus years of trying to find time (happily I’ll add) outside my day job to run a local user group, coordinate regional user conferences, attend SolidWorks World, and fulfill my duties as a SWUGN committee member. Now, I was going to be able to focus my energy full-time helping group leaders from around the world to strengthen and grow their groups. I still wake up every day doing the happy-dance, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to work closely with the entire SolidWorks Community. The SWUGN committee was a big part of my life and career for many years, and I look forward to working with the current members. My circle of SolidWorks friends has grown too, and each day brings new opportunities to be a part of the SolidWorks Community.

I wish I could provide a lot of highlights from SolidWorks World 2005. I can tell you that the Sunday evening reception was great, and that the appearance of the guys from OCC Monday morning drove the crowd into a frenzy. The SWUGN meeting was attended by more than 70 people, and John McEleney stopped by to thank the group leaders for their efforts. After that, things are a little hazy. What started as a tickle in my throat at the SWUGN meeting turned into a persistent cough by evening, and in the morning – a full-blown case of the flu.

If you think you’ve ever had the flu, you haven’t. You will definitely know when you have the flu. By Tuesday morning, I couldn’t even get out of bed. I missed Burt Rutan’s keynote, I missed Vic Leventhal on his “chopper”, and I even missed the announcement of my new position at SolidWorks. I was able to drag myself out for a few hours each day, but spent most of my time sitting down and warning everyone not to get too close. I should have worn a sign that said “You do NOT want to shake my hand today”. I was terribly disappointed because I really wanted to spend as much time as I could with group leaders, potential group leaders, and anyone else who wanted to talk about the SolidWorks Community. Everyone was very understanding, and I did manage to meet up with some folks. I said I’d remember SolidWorks World 2005 as my favorite, but I’ll also remember it as missed opportunity. I lost thirty pounds during the two weeks after SolidWorks World because of that flu, so I guess there is a silver lining.

By most accounts SolidWorks World 2005 was the best conference ever. That’s really what matters to me – the SolidWorks Community getting together, learning, sharing, and having fun. If you have never been to SolidWorks World, do whatever you can to get there. If you have been there before, I’ll see you again because you will be back.

I’ve had a lot of fun re-visiting my past SolidWorks World experiences, thanks for listening. I hope you’ll share some of your thoughts as well. Leave a comment or drop me a line. And if you’re going to be in Las Vegas for SolidWorks World 2006, please look me up.

Richard Doyle
Worldwide User Community Coordinator

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.