SolidWorks World 2012 prelude (after the fact)

With my new role at SolidWorks, my time at SolidWorks World 2012 was spent working.  As such, my hobbie (this website), was not updated during the conference.  I had hoped for a chance to post at least a couple of updates during the conference.

I wasn’t fully out of commission though.  There are many tweets and flickr updates from me during the conference.  Though I made a few Facebook updates, most of these where via Twitter; so it almost goes without saying that Google+ didn’t get updated.

Also, I forget my camera, so all of my photos where with my phone.  Fortunately, its camera isn’t half bad.

More to come.


SolidWorks World 2012 comes to a smartphone near you

SolidWorks World 2012 has several high quality applications for various devices.  SolidWorks World 2012 is available for the iPhone and the iPad on the iTunes store, and for Android devices on the Android Market.  (At SolidWorks World 2011, the mobile application was only available for the iPhone.)  The 2012 version is loaded with practically all the information you’ll need to navigate the conference.

  • Full conference schedule
  • Log on to your SolidWorks World 2012 attendee account
  • All sessions, including descriptions, maps of how to get to the assigned room, link to speaker’s bio, and the ability to add the session to your agenda
  • All speakers and their bios
  • Floor maps for each level
  • Partner Pavilion directory, map, and other information
  • General conference information, such as overview, hours, food, and special event
  • Location of important points of interest
  • Info about Dassault Systemes, including information other mobile applications

Additionally, there are links to SolidWorks related accounts on Twitter (tweet updates on the #sww12 hashtag), Facebook (SolidWorks World page, [not the SWW12 page]), Flickr (SolidWorks photostream including SolidWorks World 2012 group with uploaded photos by SolidWorks and attendees) and Youtube (SolidWorks related videos).

As a bonus, there’s a feature to scan QR codes of badges from other attendees to start building your contact list.

Smartphone and laptop strategy at SolidWorks World 2012


SolidWorks World is a big event with thousands of attendees.  Due to the rise of mobile electronic devices in the past few years, an interesting problem as arisen.  On a normal day, your smartphone’s battery charge may last a day or two without any worries.  However, 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.  With 2012, this need is even more obvious with the new and highly useful SolidWorks World 2012 mobile application, in addition to other mainstays like social media, calendering, phone calls to your associates and other attendees you plan to meet, etc.

My personal advice is to always have a spare battery on hand, whether you are using a laptop, smartphone, other mobile devices, or any combination thereof.  Also, scope out power outlets wherever you happen to be.  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 have a smartphone and a laptop, you may be able to 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!


Another growing need is connectivity via wifi.  Those of us with smartphones may not be as tethered.  However, don’t rely on cellphone carrier signal for data connections while inside of the conference center.  Even an Andriod on a free data plan may need to switch over to wifi to access the Internet at some point.  SolidWorks provides several wifi hotspots throughout the conference center.

Regardless to the type of device you use, scope out the locations of these hotspots a head of time so you aren’t left without data connection at an inconvenient moment.  Even still, there will be many other people accessing the wifi at the same time, so please avoid downloading big files or streaming videos.  I personally recommend hitting the hotspots for specific connectivity needs, then quickly moving on.

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

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.

SWW12 Attendee -> Press -> Presenter -> Employee

The first SolidWorks World that I attended was 2008 in San Diego, as an attendee.  My schedule was full of breakout and hands-on sessions, from which I learned a lot.  I also remember attending focus groups, the beautiful San Diego days, seeing lots of cool stuff at the Partner Pavilion, fun at special event in the Gaslamp District, the free iPod (still using from time to time), General Sessions, and meeting a lot of new friends.

For SolidWorks World 2009, something strange happened.  When you are a regular blogger of SolidWorks and CAD related topics, there’s a chance you’ll be invited to come to SolidWorks World as Press.  You don’t get “press credentials” or anything.  You simply get a badge that says “Press” and the right to go just about anywhere at any time in the conference.  This happened to me.

Being Press at the conference was somewhat surreal in 2009, 2010, and 2011.  The experience is completely different.  I never had time to attend more than a couple of breakout and hands-on sessions.  Instead, my time was spent at news conferences, interviewing important SolidWorks employees, quickly meeting special keynote speakers (Gene Kranz [smart guy], James Cameron [loved the campy Dark Angel show], Dr. Mike North [so sad his show got cancelled]), actually blogging, visiting historical locations, press events and other socializing.

At SolidWorks World 2011, I did double duty as a presenter.  Presenting a breakout session isn’t as hard as it might seem.  Being a great presenter isn’t the expectation that most people have of you.  Knowing your material is most important.  Being a presenter also gives you a new and unique experience at the conference, though arguably attending as Press is the most unique of all for people who are not employed by SolidWorks.

Well, this last year, something else strange happened.  I was hired as a SolidWorks employee and started my job in June.  Not only that, but my position has a significant number of responsibilities at SolidWorld World.  So, this year, I’ll be attending SolidWorks World 2012 as a working employee of SolidWorks.  Yet again, this will afford me the opportunity to see SolidWorks World from a completely different perspective.  To complete the circle, the conference is again in San Diego.

I’ve gone from presenting one breakout session to now presenting 3 sessions (1 breakout, 2 hands-on).  As if I wasn’t social before, I’ve got to be even more so now, talking to as many customers as possible, I’ll be running two focus groups, conducting product tests, and other behind the scenes tasks.

Unlike Mike Puckett, who has had a similar experience with changing rolls at SolidWorks World, I will not be presenting on the main stage during the General Session.  However, I will have a chance to see the response to my changes to SolidWorks by attendees during the What’s New for 2013 presentation.

If you are attending SolidWorks World 2012, try to find me.  My cell is 40…hmmm, yeah, just try to find me instead.  I’ll be looking for you to talk to! 🙂

SolidWorks World 2012: Things to do in San Diego (Updated)

Due to the relatively good weather in San Diego all year long, family attractions don’t have to close for the “winter”.  Here are some of the places you may wish to visit while in San Diego for SolidWorks World 2012.  Have fun with these ideas!


Enjoying the town

  • San Diego’s Downtown Creation of downtown areas for denizens has become an art form by its own right in California.  Practically every little town to big city has a developed downtown.  San Diego is no exception.
  • Seaport Villiage – Great place in the San Diego harbor for diner, explore shops and more.
  • Coronado Island – Beautiful area to explore, just over the bridge!
  • East Villiage – Up and coming area near Gaslamp.

Enjoying the area

  • San Diego’s wine country – though it may not be as nearly as developed as other wine regions in California, still might be worth the time to explore.
  • La Jolla Cove – Beautiful beach and cove.
  • Pacific Coast Highway – for those who may want to drive along the beautiful California coastline.  This could be a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending on how far you want to drive and how much you want to see.

Special thanks to Troy Peterson on the SolidWorks forums for many of these ideas.


Daniel Herzberg has created a nifty utility on Foursquare (you don’t need to be a member of Foursquare to see the link) that includes additional points of interest and a general map of their locations.



SolidWorks World 2012 on LinkedIn (show peers that you are attending)

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you might consider creating one.  LinkedIn is a great tool to connect with peers, potential employers/employees, consultants, and display your career information in an interactive manner on your own terms.  If you already have an account on LinkedIn and you are attending SolidWorks World 2012, then it may be beneficial to goto the SolidWorks World 2012 event page on LinkedIn to state your attending status.  Showing others that you are attending SolidWorks World highlights that you are participating in an event that potentially expands your skill set (see SWW12 Justification Letter).  A side benefit is that this page provides  an additional outlet to connect with other attendees to build up your contacts.

As of right now, several events have been set up on LinkedIn for SolidWorks World 2012.  Feel free to join the others, however, I recommend joining the event page created by Matthew West, DS SolidWorks Social Media Manager.