This summer has been jam-packed with some amazing SWUGN events. The SOLIDWORKS User Group Network was unable to meet in person for the majority of 2020 and 2021. As the world re-opens, in-person SWUGN meetings are back in full swing. One event that we need to highlight is IRON SWUG.
IRON SWUG is actually a series of events that took place in late July. Adam Ebernickel, the leader of the WNC-Asheville SOLIDWORKS User Group, and Brad Meador, leader of the StarCity SWUG, put together a series of six, back-to-back user group meetings along the south east corner of the U.S., spread over five days.
Adam and Brad were planning to attend each meeting and deliver a new presentation each day. That means they would each deliver six new presentations, which is a serious challenge for even the most skilled presenter. They even created a Virtual ZOOM option and live streamed each meeting for anyone who was not able to make the meetings in person.
To top it all off, they were riding their motorcycles on this epic journey. That’s right, 1,200 miles in one week! These guys are the real deal and this event pumped a lot of energy into the SWUGN community. Adam also asked his son to ride along with them to help take pictures and document the trip. They encountered mechanical problems, brutal heat, pouring rain and a tight schedule, but they pushed through and completed this event in style!
They first dreamed up this event a few years ago, but had to put this on hold due to Covid. This extra time gave them the ability to plan every last detail of this trip. Adam and Brad both work for Altec, a fantastic SOLIDWORKS customer and leading provider of products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, lights and signs, and contractor markets. In the last few years, we have seen several SOLIDWORKS user groups based in different Altec sites get off the ground. Adam and Brad were able to visit two Altec sites in Alabama and one in Georgia during the course of this trip.
User groups that are based in large companies offer many benefits to the company and the employees. The group creates a networking space where crazy events like this can get organized come together. Altec SWUG groups are the perfect example of knowing and using all of the available resources.
I caught up with these guys on the second to last day of their journey, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Local User Group Leader Michael Sutherland organized a group meeting at a VBGB Beer Hall and Garden/Restaurant. Adam and Brad, for the fourth day in a row, delivered two great presentations.
We are very lucky to have folks like Brad and Adam within our network. This event and many others that they have been involved in provide a great service to our community. More people are learning about SOLIDWORKS and networking with each other because of their efforts. Thanks guys!
Adam was able to put together a recap video with a lot more pictures from the event.
We are excited to see where this event goes next year. Adam and Brad are taking suggestions and welcoming guests to join them on another ride next summer.
To learn more about SWUGN and find the group closest to you, visit www.SWUGN.org
If you don’t have a group in your backyard, consider starting your own group.