SolidWorks World 2014 – Where to Find the Food

SWUGNLunchTableI’m almost positive that the main reason SolidWorks users attend SolidWorks World is for the technical sessions.  A close second would be the networking opportunities, followed by the General Sessions, the Partner Pavilion, and the Special Event (perhaps not in that order).  I’ve never heard anyone say that they are attending for the conference food.

People get hungry though – and for most, SolidWorks World is a 3-1/2 day event.  Starting Sunday evening at the Welcome Reception, and continuing on through the last breakout session Wednesday afternoon, I count nine meals, and we’ve got you covered.

You can start your culinary journey at the Sunday evening Welcome Reception and dine on some fancy finger foods with names like Shrimp and Cucumber Canape with Spicy Boursin Cheese or Roasted Tomato and Feta Tiropita. Yum!  Beer, wine, and soft drinks are also available, and later in the evening some dessert selections show up as if by magic.

Breakfast is served M-W starting at 7:00am (Hall D & E), and usually features a selection of meat, eggs, and potatoes wrapped up in sandwich or burrito form.  Fresh fruits, cheeses, and pastries are usually available, as well as coffee, tea, and juice.

I like the lunch breaks the most, but not necessarily for the food.  Since breakfast starts so early, its a slow, steady progression of folks showing up to eat in the morning.  But at lunchtime, most of the attendees show up all at once – it’s kind of like watching the stream of people flowing into a general session.  Lunch is usually hearty, with meats, pastas, breads, and salads.  Beverages at lunch often means Iced Tea, so I stick with water.  Lunch is served in Hall D & E each day from 12:00pm to 1:30pm.  During lunch, we encourage what we call Birds-of-a-Feather seating.  Signs will be posted at each table (Drawings, BOM, EPDM, etc.) encouraging people with those common interests to eat together and talk.

Now here’s a secret…immediately after you finish your lunch, head over to the Partner Pavilion.  This is where you’ll find dessert.  Decadent chocolates, cheese cakes, cookies and other sweet delectables are nicely arranged on tables throughout the room.

Unless you are a CSWE and attending that event, dinner Monday means another trip back to the Partner Pavilion.  You can expect some changes in the menu (maybe we’ll get the Asparagus and Asiago Cheese Roulade), but it’ll all be tasty and accompanied by adult beverages.

My favorite meal at SolidWorks World is the one that comes with the Special Event.  Maybe it’s the atmosphere, but I find that the food always tastes better.  Last year in Orlando, the food stations were spaced perfectly for my gait.  I could fill a plate with pasta, and by the time I walked to the roast beef station, I was ready for more food.  That scenario played out several times during the course of the evening.  The Special Event is Tuesday at Embarcadero Park starting at 7:00pm.

If you miss a meal, or just want to get out on the town for some food, there are plenty of really great restaurants within a few minutes of the Convention Center.  Both of the host hotels also have food ranging from sandwiches and snacks to sushi and steak. Check with the hotel concierge or SolidWorks World veterans.

Now I’m hungry…

Richard Doyle
My official title is Senior User Advocacy & SolidWorks User Groups - but most people just call me "The User Group Guy". I've been a SolidWorks user since 1997, and was one of the founding members of the SWUGN Committee. Since starting the Central Texas SolidWorks User Group in 1999, my career path has led me to DS SolidWorks and a dream job supporting the SolidWorks User Group Network worldwide.
Richard Doyle
Richard Doyle