SW World opinions

Richard Doyle contacted me and I had a conference call with him and two of the SolidWorks World organizers. We discussed some of the more
worrisome conflicts and they are going to see what they can do. I called out 14 conflcits that jumped out at me, reinforcing that they have to think hard about the guy going to the show when making the schedule. For instance, the engineering manager looking at purchasing a PDM system is probably going to want to see an intro session, an advanced session on customizing pdm (to see what he can do with it down the line) and might be very interested in a session about how to manage large assemblies WITHOUT pdm. Ooops - all three sessions are at the same time. To their credit, scheduling this sort of thing is a b*** - there are only so many rooms, some sessions are one hour while others are 1.5, there are only 3 hands-on rooms, some people present multiple times, etc. I don't think I would want the job of making that schedule. There is probably no way that all the conflicts will go away, but they are definatley going to try. I guess its a couple of weeks until they open up online sign-up for sessions,so there is still time for them to make some of the conflicts go away.
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Thanks Ed. I'll bet organizing the Midwest Regional wasn't much easier.
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I imagine it was hard. However, I don't know because I didn't do s*** to help set it up - I just show up to that one. I think either Gene Dimonte or Mark Peters deserve the credit for the schedule at the Midwest Regional conference.
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As I asked before, is this not what DVDs were invented for to make our lives easier?
Especially when they contain just a quarter's worth of Polycarbonate at most, and duping is cheap.
Any SolidWorks user who was willing to devote the days and money to go to SWks World, is pretty dedicated and the cost of an additional few DVDs would be well worth buying by most of us.
Bo
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Thanks, Ed! Without you, this might have been just another bitching session. I already owe you any number of your favorite beverages for your help here and the great tutorials you make available on you the Dimonte Group website. Maybe this year I'll be able to pay down a little on that debt!
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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I checked yesterday and there were a few changes in the schedule, but I've still got most of the same problems I had originally. Does anyone know if there are more changes planned? Does anyone have a final schedule date?
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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Sounds like a classic tactic of convention organizers. If you have lots of small program rooms, but only a few big room, you put some of the big items at identical times in smaller rooms.
If there were no other big items at the same time, the attendance for the big item would overwhelm the room. Scheduling multiple big items simultaneously spreads out the crowd.
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So where are the el-cheapo tents for God's sake?
Yeah this is a metaphorical question as one can't do that reliably in the Las Vegas sun, but it they want us to attend and learn, then we have to get "IN THE SESSIONS".
I think sometimes SolidWorks Corp. looks at conventions as something that is set up to SOLEY BENEFIT THEM AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR VARS.
We customers pay every single bill that the support the VARS and SolidWorks.
The customer MUST COME FIRST.
Am I wrong? OK, I must ask, am I crazy, and the customer is NOT #1?
Bo
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I had a conversation with some of the SWx world organizers today,and this subject came up. They care, but they need help. When personal agenda selection starts up in a couple of weeks, they are going to try to make it clear that people ought to sign up so the organizers can get a head count on sessions before the show. Excepting hands-on sessions, signing up in advance doesn't guarantee you a seat - but it will help the organizers set up an appropriate number of seats in the room. So try to sign up (and in case other people don't, show up early for sessions so its some other poor bastard in the hall)
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Maybe they need to start thinking about SWW sessions like Continuing Education and set up tracks, have sign up and even offer CEU credits. That kind of organization might help sway some bosses who think people are going just to see how high they can stack shots. I would certainly like to know in advance what I can get into and what I can't .
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I like the ideas of tracks and mentioned that in my conversation with SWx. I personally do not like getting locked into a schedule in advance - when chatting to other users I learn about good presenters or good sessions (which comes in handy if they are repeated, which SWx will likely try to do on the last day with popular ones). I know it wreaks havoc on room populations and makes me part of the problem and not part of the solution, but I would like to have some flexibility on the date of the show. That said, I think there is merit to combining the two - if you registered you get a seat (barring, of course, the potential logisitical nightmare with that - this is a theoretical discussion). If I am there but did not register, I could get bumped by someone who did.
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I like tracks, too, so long as they are for helping me to organize myself, not for restricting me to only a certain set of sessions.

I really like this idea. There are certain sessions that I desperately want to get into. I would love to have a more or less guaranteed seat if I sign up early.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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So they don't want me standing in the hall like last time.
In Orlando some of the rooms were big, but so long you needed binoculars if you sat more than 1/3 of the way back from the front row.
Anybody seen a floor plan of Caesar's Palace convention center.
Maybe they should put a one armed bandit outside the door and give entry tokens based on pure chance.
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Pea-shooter with cloves. And I'll wear a disguise. Probably a beard or something.
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Yea, but I'm next to you, he'll probably catch on....
WT

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I would recommend it. There is so much information, you will spend the next 6 months sorting through it. I haven't been since 2002, but I'm going this year. Actually, I'm presenting 3 sessions. There's such a wide range of topics that you can't help but pick up something useful. Seeing how other people do things is probably the biggest thing for me. It's not just SolidWorks knowledge you'll pick up, there is a ton of info on manufacturing, rapid prototype and reverse engineering processes, all of which are highly interesting to me.
It's hard to say how much money is "worth it", but if you compare the cost to a SolidWorks training class, the level of information you get at SWW is so much more in depth. Of course getting to meet all the folks you hear from here and from SW Corp can be very valuable as well. I always thought that the round table discussions that happen before the convention were some of the most valuable things to get involved with. Make sure to sign up for stuff early, cuz the interesting stuff definitely fills up fast.
Matt
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I am also independent ( to say the least). I have been to several SWW and I think it has been well worth it for me. In addition to all of the good reasons you have already heard from others, I have made some really good business contacts.
Boston was probably the leanest as far as session offerings went, but I met a guy there in my same industry who I ended up doing a lot of business with. 2004 was a really poor year for me, but I got enough work from this contact to keep my doors open until my regular customers snapped out their slump. I also met another new customer last year in Orlando.
That plus everything I learn at the sessions makes it well worth it.
jk
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I'm not an independent, but I would give a rousing "me too!" to the responses you have gotten from Matt, John, Paul, Wayne and Muggs.
I've only made it to one, in 2000, which was not long after I started using SolidWorks. The amount I learned in the sessions was incredible. I don't suppose I would learn as much this year, but I've got to believe that Ed and Matt can teach me more than enough to pay off the trip. The only reason I'm still on the fence is that we will probably only send three of us and I think it might be better if people go who haven't had the experience before.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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Thanks for your comments everyone, I'm going to go! A few days out of the brutal cold (in jan) will be nice. But seriously it sounds like a great event. How many people would typically attend? thousands? hundreds? My only other yearly convention is the EAA which is attented by around 800,000 people but that's a bit different.
A practical question: Is there a cheaper hotel nearby or are the Ceasars rates typical? I have no idea what normal is there, last time I was in las vegas was 20 years ago.
Thanks again,
Zander
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Costs:
I just priced this out for two or three people to fly into Vegas and stay at Caesar's Palace.
For 3 it was $3,000 and change. For two it was $2,500 and change. SW has a three for two sale right now. This includes registration, four nights (I go for Sunday through Wednesday) and airfare to Chicago.
If I was going on my own I would drive. Then it would cost me about $1,200.
Use Orbitz or Priceline to find a cheaper hotel. Last year I stayed in a hotel 5 minutes from the convention for $60/night. In Vegas you can probably get away with this without a car.
Zander wrote:

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