SolidWorks World 2003 – Orlando

Part five of my SolidWorks World recaps

I wasn’t disappointed to return to the Coronado Springs Resort having had such a great experience in 2001. A surgically repaired shoulder nixed a return trip to the golf course, but that didn’t temper my enthusiasm for SolidWorks World. The sling on my arm should have been a warning to those around me, but the huge crowds caused several moments of pain as I attempted to make my way through the halls a couple of times.

I’ll get right to the best moment of the 2003 conference; Peter Marks. Certainly one of the most popular keynote speakers to date, Mr. Marks riveted the crowd of 2000+ with his session. I’ve since had the opportunity to hear him speak several times and I never tire of his style or his message. If you ever get the chance to see one of his presentations, do not pass it up.

This year’s SNUG meeting continued to build on the momentum we gained from the previous year. More than 50 attendees, mostly user group leaders, learned about some of the new programs that SNUG had put into place during the past year. The group got a preview of the newly redesigned user group web pages created by SolidWorks that allow group leaders to post meeting schedules, add their group information, and request fax/email notifications, speakers, and giveaway items for their meetings. We also showed the results from the first SNUG survey that had been conducted a few months prior. The survey data provided a wealth of information about local user group chapters, including the types of presentations offered, average attendance and frequency of meetings. We also heard some great ideas from group leaders that we were able to share with everyone. The open discussion was lively and informative, and generated a long list of items we could use to improve user groups, and to help spread the word about the SolidWorks User Group Community.

The dented wing I sported that year gave me a good excuse NOT to ride some of the attractions at the offsite event held at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park. I’m afraid I have an aversion to heights and spinning, so I spent my time on the Buzz Lightyear ride with a couple of friends blasting Zurg and his minions with a light gun. Over to the arcade for some one-armed video gaming, food, drinks, and some SolidWorks talk. The Parade of Lights and a trip to Downtown Disney for some music rounded out the evening.

I worked the exhibit area hard that year, but not because I needed information. The local user group I headed up (CTSUG) had hosted a regional user event for the previous two years, and I was determined to make the 2003 version something special. I made a lot of contacts and managed to attract more than 25 exhibitors to Austin that year. Without the advantage of having these companies all in one place, my job would have been much tougher. The Partner Exhibit is filled every year with the very best hardware, software, and services companies. If you are attending SolidWorks World, make sure you visit every booth. You never know when you’ll find that gem of a program or service that will add huge value to your projects, or save your company time and money.

Next..If you visit Boston in January, bring a coat

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.