Summary and impressions from my first SolidWorks World Conference

I am on my way back to the east coast after my first SolidWorks World. I am very fortunate that even though I’ve worked for SolidWorks for only 5 months, I was able to attend. I had a two-fold purpose for attending: Conduct some usability tests and speak with Keri Prasky in a breakout session.

I conducted 18 one-hour usability sessions over 4 days (some were a bit shorter, some were longer).  I had a wonderful time with each test. My favorite part was learning what you all use SolidWorks to create.  Your uses ranged from designing medical tubing and teeny valves, to entire water parks.

I am also coming away with a lot of great data on your use of the SolidWorks Forums, and some ideas on how they might be improved.

My talk with Keri Prasky was “Help yourself … to a whole lot of user assistance” and it included info not only about the “local” and web help, but also about our strategies for leveraging the forums and social media. I hope that we’ll be invited to present it at some SWUGN meetings later this year.

Overall, this was a fantastic first SolidWorks world for me. The inventions that I saw in the partner pavilion were fascinating and it was a lot of fun to discuss them.  The Tuesday night block party was a great time and I really enjoyed chatting with some customers. I am also following a lot more CAD-type people on twitter and I’m pleased to have a few follow-backs.

In many ways this conference was similar in spirit to Lotusphere – the conference I attended for 14 years in a row for IBM Lotus. It was great that at both conferences people talked about the passion of the users, and how each conference is like a big family reunion. I’m really looking forward to learning more about my new “Family” and to designing some software that will help the rest of you design some fabulous things!


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