Power and Connectivity Strategy at SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2015

[UPDATE: 2/2/2015: Wifi will be available throughout the conference areas]

Keeping power hungry mobile and portable devices fed (charged) presents a unique challenge in the 21st Century.   This appearently was a real problem recently at the International CES 2015 in Las Vegas this year, according to some reports.

Keeping connected to the Internet also presents challenges.  There is a lot going on at SolidWorks World.  It is a big event with thousands of tech savvy attendees with tons of devices, competing with resources to keep them feed and connected.  Granted, keeping a smartphone charged is pretty dang cheap.  However, finding an electrical outlet is the issue at hand.

Power

Phoenix Convention CenterIf 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 messaging (texting, FB messenging, etc.) 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 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.  (If you are spending extra time at an airport on stop-overs on your way to the conference, this can be particularly challenging.)

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.

If you are plugged into a random outlet or loaning your charger temporarily to another attendee, don’t forget to grab your charging cable before taking off to your next destination!  If you forget it, 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 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.  Something new this year: SOLIDWORKS World will provide WiFi throughout the conference area.  In other words, the conference itself will be one gigantic hotspot.  One of the main locations will be near the Partner Pavilion.

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.  Hotspots should be shown on the conference map.  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 2015!

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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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