Smartphone and laptop strategy at SolidWorks World 2013

I wrote an article last year on the topic of keeping charged up and linked while at SolidWorks World.  I’ve updated this for SolidWorks World 2013.  There are unique challenges at the Swan and Dolphin.  Also, SolidWorks World is a big event with thousands of tech savvy attendees with tons of mobile and portable devices that hunger for power and connectivity.  Christmas being so close to SolidWorks World this year may further contribute to the number and variety of mobile devices at the conference.

Power

If you are using your smartphone to keep your schedule (like I do), you’ll be accessing it more often than you might on a normal day.  In addition, you’ll likely be text messaging and using other social media communication more frequently, too.  Normally, your smartphone’s battery charge may last a day or two without any worries.  No day at SolidWorks World is normal.  Even on the most battery efficient devices, you are likely to need power to recharge at some point during the day.

Have a spare battery or extended-life remote battery on hand, whether you are using a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or any combination thereof.   Wherever you happen to find yourself, be sure to scope out power outlets.  This is particularly important at the Swan and Dolphin because breakout sessions and events are split between the two buildings and you find yourself spending more time walking between the two hotels.  This applies while you are at the conference, and more so also after hours while you are out and about and when your device is most likely to be low on power.

During the day, if you have a smartphone and a laptop, you can charge your phone from the laptop via the normal USB connection.  Finally, the most obvious thing of all, don’t forget any of the charging cables.  Make sure they are on your checklist!

If you are plugged into a random outlet or loaning your charger temporarily to another attendee, don’t forget your charging cable by leaving it behind!  You will likely never see it again, for various reasons.  This particularly applies to breakout session speakers who may get distracted at the end of their presentation by people rushing up to the podium to introduce themselves and ask further questions.  Am I speaking from personal experience?  Maybe.

Staying Connected

Staying connected is the whole reason we carry around smartphones and tablets.  That means you always need an awareness of WiFi hotspots.  Those of us with smartphones may not be as tethered.  However, don’t rely on cellphone carrier signal for data connections while in a conference room.  Even smartphones on a free data plan may need to switch over to WiFi to access the Internet at some point to Facebook, Foursquare or Flickr.  SolidWorks provides several WiFi hotspots throughout the conference.  One of the main locations will be near the Partner Pavilion.  (Side note: Product Definition booth will be near the Partner Pavilion a hotspot, so feel free to stop by and tell us how we can improve SolidWorks.)

All this means that you’ll need to scope out the locations of these hotspots a head of time so you aren’t left without data connection at an inconvenient moment.  Keep in mind that there will be many other people accessing WiFi at the same time, so please avoid downloading big files or streaming videos.  I always recommend hitting the hotspots for specific connectivity needs, then quickly moving on.

Good luck and I hope to see you at SolidWorks World 2013!

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The author of this article is an employee of Dassault Systemes.  However, the material of this article is not representative of Dassault Systemes, nor is it reviewed by them.  Please see the FTC notice in the right side bar of this webpage for further details.

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