SOLIDWORKS Largest (And Longest) User Group Meeting Ever

SLUGME6 was an epic event, to say the least. Let’s break down this one-of-a-kind, 24-hour User Group Meeting and examine some of the mind-blowing stats.

Earlier this year, Kam Smith, Todd Blacksher, and Eric Beatty approached me with a crazy idea for SLUGME6. After SLUGME5 went on for about 4 hours, they wanted to push SLUGME6 all the way to 24 hours. I immediately jumped onboard with the idea and the creativity started to flow. Click here to read a recent blog by Eric Beatty, offering a complete history of SLUGME.

We all agreed that it would be great if the four of us could broadcast live from DS SOLIDWORKS HQ in Waltham, Massachusetts, with a “News Desk” look and feel, complete with some pretty slick blazers. I reached out to several awesome people in Waltham and when we all arrived, we were greeted with a proper broadcast setup, complete with live studio audience seating.

We truly could not have asked for a nicer setup and we are grateful for the amazing people that helped to piece this all together. I was humbled by the hospitality and teamwork that was on display. From ordering food, to booking hotels, to creating the YouTube Event, to ironing the SLUGME6 patches onto those sweet green jackets, to setting up the news desk.

We could not have pulled off this event without a huge team effort. Gian Paolo, Suchit, Ana, Suzanne Locke, Derek Jones, Matthew, Sean, Sara Z, Kristen, Simge, Jiggy, Tony, Mary, Jane, Karen, Barb, Margie, Lynn, Juan Chapa, Mike Puckett, Richie More, Junko Matsumoto, Manon Ranger and more. Please forgive me if I forgot anyone. Thank you Team!

Let’s take a close look at some of the stats from the YouTube Live Stream of the event:

  1. The total length with the pre and post show was 25:24:08
  2. The live stream was viewed 5,273 times and with an estimated number of 3,300 unique viewers
  3. There were 3,249 messages sent in the live chat
  4. The event was viewed by people in 41 countries. (Top 5 – US, India, Brazil, Mexico & The UK)
  5. 54% of viewers watched on smartphones
  6. 684 Surveys were completed
  7. 24 new SOLIDWORKS Certifications were purchased

This event would not have been possible without the help of our amazing production crew at Cramer. They were organized and patient with us as we completed the agenda and organized the very last presentation. The logistics were flawless and the quality level of the event was second to none. Please extend our gratitude to the entire Cramer staff. Lyssa, Abbie, Vinnie, Pat, Rob, Emilee, Phil, Billy, Darren, Gibby, Matt and Dan – Thank You!

Kirby Downey and Johnny Harrison are a couple of User Group Leaders and SOLIDWORKS Champions, based in the UK. They offered us an opportunity to connect SLUGME6 with the first Magic Wheel Chair build in the UK. The kiddo, George, asked if they could build a dragon from Lego Ninjago.

As we can see in the image below, they delivered in a big way. They did an amazing thing for little George and he seemed really happy. Thank you to everyone who helped with this build and thank you to Magic Wheelchair for connecting Kirby and Johnny with George.

As part of the agenda, we developed a six-part keystone presentation series for which a LeMans Themed Hypercar Body, Wheels &Tires, and Frame would be developed and simulated. This series was one of the most comprehensive 3DEXPERIENCE Platform demonstrations that I have ever seen. It was delivered in a casual and approachable format. Jason Pohl, Jordan Tadic, and Andy Barnes were having an engaging and lighthearted conversation while creating a masterpiece on screen in the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

Shreyas Vaidya and Omar Zohni validated the design with some fantastic analysis work and were able to provide some real-time feedback to Jordan and Jason in terms of the Frame and Body design. Dan McGinn also contributed a great bonus on 3D Structural Creator. Toby Schnaars hosted the final keystone session during which he recapped the entire design and cultivated a great conversation with each presenter and the desk. This data set is one of the best and I hope to see it in other presentations.  Many thanks to this incredible bunch!

As we saw in Eric’s recent blog, this event was years in the making. Todd, Kam, and Eric built a reputation and following with SLUGME 1-5. This was a perfect launch pad for SLUGME6. Their contributions to the SOLIDWORKS Community are invaluable. The efforts of these fine gentleman have delivered top notch technical content directly to SOLIDWORKS users across the world. This event has also contributed to the sense of community within SOLIDWORKS users in a big way! The live chat was a constant flow of positive energy for over 25 hours. As Gian Paolo stated, we are forever in their debt for lifting up our community with this one-of-a-kind event. On a personal note, it was an honor to sit at the desk with these guys.

We also had some help from some great partners and other vendors. Driveworks supplied us with some great Pizza gift cards and a cool video about Driveworks CPQ for Manufacturing. Driveworks recently blogged about this SLUGME6 as well. You can check that out here.

We also cannot forget the 20+ presenters who recorded and submitted their presentations. Many of these folks are user group leaders and SOLIDWORKS champions from around the world. We even had presentations delivered in Portuguese, Japanese, and Russian. SLUGME6 was truly an international event.

I undoubtedly missed some folks who helped to make this event happen but we are truly grateful for everyone’s help. I look forward to the future of SLUGME and SWUGN as a whole. Let us know your ideas for SLUGME 7!


Dan Wagner

Dan Wagner

Dan is manager of the SOLIDWORKS User Group Network (SWUGN). he has spent over 12 years in the reseller channel providing technical support to SOLIDWORKS users, teaching SOLIDWORKS classes, and delivering marketing & sales presentations to new and experienced SOLIDWORKS users. He is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert and is thrilled to continue serving the SOLIDWORKS community for many years to come.