If you have to justify SolidWorks World attendance in terms of dollars, I
guess we won't be seeing you there. It's very hard to quantify to a
companies bottom line. Would your boss expect you to return from New Orleans
with your pockets lined with bills, or perhaps he expects to see a general
ledger entry like "$$ saved by attending SWW = $xxxx.xx". Either way your
hosed! But, what if you returned from SWW with some tip that saved you just
1% of your time spent on creating or modifying a drawing? (hmmm,
2080*1%=20.8@$30.00/hr=$624.00) What if you found a Partner Product that
could trim five days off of a 90 day project for a customer? (let's
see..$20,000 project/90=222.22*5=$1,111.11, roll in the cost of the
solution, ooh..) Of course, these are my numbers, not yours (heck, you might
be worth more than $30.00/hr), but with over 55 different breakout sessions
available, not to mention the opportunity to sit one-on-one with SolidWorks
technical staff members, certainly you can see the chance to find that 1%,
maybe even 2% improvement in productivity. Ask your boss how that would
affect the company's financials.
If that's not enough to convince him/her, how about a chance to meet
face-to-face with some of the leading experts in the SolidWorks/Mechanical
Design industry? One of last years highlights for me was talking with Bob
Noftle of Cimlogic, not only about his Toolbox product, but the state of the
mechanical design industry and the shape of things to come. Trevor, Cholly,
Michelle, Greg, and Phil; one word names that everyone recognizes (sorta the
Supermodels of SolidWorks), they'll all be there. Some will be presenting,
some will be there for the same reason that you should be, to share
information and to learn all that they can about our little world.
If you still have to spit out a spreadsheet with lots of black numbers and
dollar signs, I'll look forward to meeting you some other time. But if you
can convince your boss that continued employee education, peer networking,
product research, and maybe a little moral booster are worth $450.00, I'll
buy you a beer on Bourbon Street!
Only 28 days left to take advantage of the low-low early bird rate. Sign up
Richard Doyle DTM Corporation
Thanks for posting Richard's justification.
Of course, you've got to factor in the time you lose by going to SW World.
My boss gets 235 days of work out of me, in theory (three weeks of
vacation/sick leave, 11 days of holidays). Three days (I'll travel on Sunday
and Wednesday night) of work lost is a 1.3% hit on my productivity right
away! So now I've got to increase my productivity by at least that much
before I can save anything.
It's going to cost the company something like $1700-$2000 to send me. ($645
for the conference, $480 for the room, at least $100 for meals, at least
$370, probably more like $670 for the flights, since I won't be able to book
until pretty close to the conference date, $100 to get me to the airports
and back.) Call it $2000. If I were the $30/hr guy doing the drawings above,
that's 67 hours I've got to save, plus the 24 hours of lost work time, so
I've got to save 91 hours in the rest of the year. I've got 232 days left,
or 1856 hours, to save it in, so I've got to increase my productivity by
4.9% to make it pay. This is certainly possible, but it's not exactly a
Fortunately, I'm a highly paid engineer, so my burdened rate is more like
$100/hr. So the conference cost is only 20 hours and I've only got to come
up with 44 hours of time saved. If I spent 8 hours a day on SW, that's just
a 2.4% productivity increase. Unfortunately, I doubt that I spend more than
25-50% of my time on SW, so I've got to come up with 4.7%-9.5% producitivity
increase to make it pay. Again, it's possible, but a 10% increase in
productivity is a pretty high target. It's possible I can come up with a few
tips that would save that much, but I certainly can't guarantee it.
One other possibility for our small group is to send one of the three MEs.
If the lucky one can come back with tips that help all three of us, we're
down in the 1.6%-3.2% productivity increase needed. That seems pretty easy
If you've got 10 engineers/designers/drafters, then it isn't hard at all to
justify sending one or two people.
Tripod Data Systems
Thanks for the link Richard.
I'm really interested and excited about going to SolidWorks World. My
employer has no problem with paying to send me. The cost of the conference
is very reasonable. The travel and lodging expense are what drive the price
up. I was just wondering if past attendees felt it was worth their time and
money. I guess I have 2 YES votes.
I attended PhotoShop World a few months ago and was really disappointed!!
It was a very unorganized conference and I really left there feeling like it
wasn't worth the trip.
Before I took the plunge into SolidWorks World I thought it would be nice to
get a little feedback from people who have attended.
I've been four years running and paid for it myself for the most part. This
year is a little different than the past. I spend all my time in the
seminars and a little time schmoozing.
Rob Rodriguez wrote:
Even though my comments on Richard's justification make it look like I'm
seriously questioning the value of SW World, I really think that most of the
people who follow this newsgroup would benefit. I just wanted to throw in a
little bit of reality, so that people realize that it's not as easy to
justify as it first seems.
I went the first year I started using SW and got a lot out of it; I'm quite
sure it more than paid for itself in the next year. Going every year
probably doesn't make sense for me, but every two or three years probably
does make economic sense. If your boss is willing, go for it! It only takes
one or two really good sessions to pay off, even if you are a one man shop.
Tripod Data Systems
Okay, if you really break down the numbers you can find some fault with my
"justification", and that's okay. It's really meant to give those
tight-fisted managers a little something to think about instead of simply
putting the hammer down and dismissing the conference outright. But, what we
haven't yet talked about is the WOW factor of SolidWorks World.
Technical Session WOWs
Ed Eaton - Surfacing - WOW. One of the best and he comes here every year to
share his knowledge.
Phil Sluder - Tips and Tricks - WOW
Phil's first Tips and Tricks session in Palm Springs was standing room
only - IN THE FREAKING HALLWAY. Acknowledging the popularity of this
session, the next year they scheduled it in a room with a capacity of 1000.
It didn't fill up, but you couldn't get a really good seat if you straggled
Gene Dimonte - Drawings - WOW
I did a drawings presentation for two years straight (and thought it was
pretty good), and I would have continued if not for Mr. DiMonte's session.
Blew me right out of the water.
I mention Bob Noftle (WOW) in my justification letter. Now he's a SolidWorks
employee and still has plenty to share. And he's more than willing to do so.
Jeff Rowe - MCADCafe - WOW
Recently named editor at IBSystems, Jeff will likely be there and is very
accessible. He did our keynote at the All-Texas Conference and made quite an
impression with our attendees.
Matt, Eddie, Doug, Wolfgang, Rodel, Lila, Jay - WOW
Power users that everyone should try to meet.
Scott, Chris, Jeremy, Wayne, Nick - WOW
Reseller AE's, REALLY good ones.
bob z - WOW
We can only hope.
Joy, Marc, Greg, Jim, Gopal - WOW
All SolidWorks, all the time. Everyone is accessible at the conference.They
are there to help, listen, teach, listen, share, and listen. Face to face
with the folks that bring us our software is the best way to get what we
need. Sign up for a roundtable discussion and make your concerns known.
Watch as the SolidWorks folks really get to the bottom of what we are
talking about. It's not just a bitch session, but a truly productive
And finally, the Spring-Like effect, or COR (Coefficient of Rejuvenation) -
The conference is fun! Let your hair down, sing in the Karaoke bar, eat the
food (save your C note Jerry - most if the food is included), enjoy the
accommodations, meet a bunch of really good people. If you don't return to
the office with a little spring in your step, you haven't done it right.
Hope to see you there.
I went to the first 3 (Palm Springs, New Orleans, & Orlando1) and haven't
been the last 2 years. The first one I went to was a month after I purchased
SWX. I learned a lot at that one. I got as much from speaking with my peers
as I did from the sessions. It really helped me get my brain around the
The next couple of years were valuable as well . I had more experience with
SWX by then which also meant that I had more questions. After taking 2 years
off, I will be in Boston for this one. I pay my own way, and have never felt
that I couldn't justify the expense.
I'm not trying to discourage people from going. I'm just pointing out, that
for those who have bottom-line oriented, intelligent managers, you've got to
make a pretty good case. If you don't think to include your own "lost" time
in the justification, they certainly will. So go into the argument with your
eyes open and all the facts you can possibly gather at the ready.
But, what we
But remember, your manager probably isn't going to go WOW about anything
that doesn't get product out the door faster, cheaper or better. Translate
your WOWs into things he/she understands. This usually involves dollar
Absolutely. Fortunately the pinhead who scheduled the two big talks on
surfacing (Ed and Keith Pedersen) for the same time slot got religion (or
his head handed to him on a plate) and split them up.
Phil's T&Ts are great, particularly for those just starting out or who work
in a small office without much contact with a large group of users.. There
are also T&Ts for advanced sheet metal design, SW Office users, and
I'll skip talking about the rest of the WOWs you listed, but most of us can
find a bunch of topics to get excited about.
I wish. I'm hoping we can send at least one of us this year, but I've made
it to one SW World, so I feel I should let one of the others have a chance.
Tripod Data Systems
Go ahead, SwWorld is just a great place to learn, share and meet nice
you are lucky your employer will pay for the event, I wish my boss was
like yours, I won't be able to be there...!
Just have fun, and enjoy learning a lot at SwWorld..!
Like a lot of folks here, I've been. I've only been to one though. Been to
(2) Pro/E ones and an AutoDesk one too. I thought that SW World (Las Vegas)
help me a bit more than the 1st Pro/E one I went too. Like others have said,
I learned quite a bit from the SW World attendees who would sit down and
chit chat with you, than from some of the sessions.
Don't get me wrong, there are some sessions that a VERY good, but one on one
conversations with folks in the same boat is a good thing.
I'll be going (unless something happens) and for the most part, be footing
my own bill, unless Wayne or Doyle is going to let me sleep on their floor