SolidWorks World 2010: Catching up with the All-Stars

As we get closer to SolidWorks World 2010, we’ve
taken some time to speak with the exclusive group of guys who have attended
every SolidWorks World—this will be the 12th year for each of them.  Richard Doyle, Jeff Setzer, Phil Sluder and
Mark Peters make up the “SolidWorks World All Stars,” if you will, and these
guys were kind enough to take the time to share their thoughts on the event
over the years.


Q: In what capacities have you attended SolidWorks World?

Jeff Setzer: I’ve been with Graphics Systems Corporation,
one of the original SolidWorks Value-Added Resellers, for over 17 years. I’ve
always attended as VAR technical manager, but in several instances I was also a
guest speaker.

Phil Sluder: Believe it or not, I’ve presented at every
SolidWorks World!  I even have the
original flyer from the 1999 event, and I usually put the first slide from all
my previous presentations at the beginning of my new ones.

Richard Doyle: I’ve attended the event as a user, presenter
and employee of SolidWorks.


Q: What’s your favorite memory from SolidWorks World?

Mark Peters: I’d have to say it’s from Boston (2004) when the
off-site event was the Blue Man Group. 
It was an incredible experience, and is now a tradition, with the
caravan of 15-20 motor coaches shuttling attendees to the show.

RD: I’m always a fan of the Tuesday night off-site
events.  In San Diego one year, it was a
block party in the Gas light district and at the Hard Rock Café one year in
Vegas.  They’re always a lot of fun.


Q: What changes have you seen in the event over the years?

MP: What sticks out most to me is the size of the
event.  In the early days, one room could
hold everyone.  Now, you’re looking at
three to four thousand people and the keynote is projected onto a screen!  It’s come quite a ways.  As for the quality of the event, it always
has been and remains excellent.  Even
though the show is very big, it’s stayed true to its roots.

JS: The sheer size of the event. In the very beginning there
were barely a few hundred attendees, and now there are several thousand. For
me, it’s very humbling and uplifting at the same time to be a face in such a large
crowd of like-minded people.

PS: The quality and number of presentations has definitely
increased over the years.  The event
itself has gotten more sophisticated and covers so many aspects, as there’s so
much the show needs to dive into now compared to 10 years ago.


Q: Which SolidWorks World has been your favorite?

MP: Probably the first year the event was in New Orleans
(2000).  It was also my first time in the
city, and it’s my favorite not because of SolidWorks World, but more because of
Bourbon Street!

PS: The year the show was in my hometown on San Diego in
2008.  Not only was the weather great, I
felt like a sort of de facto host; I’m familiar with the area and local trivia,
so it was a lot of fun.

JS: It’s very difficult to pick one because there were so
many great events and I have so many wonderful memories. I think the first time
we had it in New Orleans stands out because I fell in love with the cuisine and
culture of the city.

RD: Orlando 2003.  It
was announced that I’d been made an employee of SolidWorks at SolidWorks World,
but I wasn’t there to hear it—I was in bed with the flu almost the whole time!
One of my buddies stood on his chair and led a nice ovation for the
announcement, or so I heard the next day!

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.