My name is Betty Baker and I am a Domestic Casegoods Product Engineer at Ashley Furniture in Arcadia, WI. I am also the user group leader for the La Crosse/Eau Claire/Winona Area (LEWA) SOLIDWORKS User Group along with being the SWUGN rep for the Midwest U.S. region.
I have only attended SOLIDWORKS World a handful of times but it is by far the best conference I attend each year. I start planning for next year’s event before I leave the previous year’s event. It is hard to name just one thing that I enjoy about the event, but I think getting together with my SOLIDWORKS family and networking are my favorite reasons. The people in the SOLIDWORKS community are like family. I have never found this to be true at any other type of work conference and every year the family just keeps getting bigger and bigger as I meet new people. I love talking with people and seeing what kinds of product they make with SOLIDWORKS.
It isn’t just about the networking however. The technical sessions are awesome. A wide variety of people give presentations each year from your everyday SOLIDWORKS user, technical support people from resellers, to people from SOLIDWORKS itself. The sessions range from every SOLIDWORKS topic you can think of but “Tips and Tricks” are always one of my favorites to attend. It is amazing the little things you did not know or have forgotten, even when you have used SOLIDWORKS for many years. You walk away with so much information that I have a hard time bringing it all back to share with my own coworkers. A couple years ago I decided to send out the information that I brought back as a weekly tip instead of bombarding them with all this new information at one time.
The Partner Pavilion is also a place where I always wish I had more time to spend. I never allow enough time for it. You could spend an entire day in there talking with everyone and seeing all of the new products that they have to offer. So I guess, this leads back to more networking.
I haven’t even mentioned the networking at breakfast and lunch with thousands of people. The special event is also a great time with food, music, games and even more networking. I always say I am going to stay a little longer and do some sightseeing in the various cities after the conference but that never seems to happen for me, but living in Wisconsin it is always a nice break to get away in February.
So it is a week spent with likeminded people all trying to learn everything they can about SOLIDWORKS, share the information with each other and catch up with each other from the past year. It is a long week trying to take everything in but the amount of information you bring back along with all the new people you meet is immeasurable. Once you go to a SOLIDWORKS World, you are addicted and you can’t wait to go back for more.