Time to tell the tale of SolidWorks World 2011.
I thought that it would be a good idea to break this up into small chunks over the next couple of days, so I will start with our arrival in San Antonio on Saturday . . .
My wife and I thought it would be fun to go to San Antonio early and explore the city, and I am so glad we did. San Antonio is a beautiful city with really nice people (our cab driver Ray was incredibly welcoming and full of trivia.) We checked into our hotel, dropped off our bags, and hit the riverwalk to find some of our friends that also flew in early. On the way to meet up with them, we ran into several attendees and a couple of the Territory Technical Managers from SolidWorks that I used to work with during my time as an Application Engineer. I was surprised by the number of people that were arriving on Saturday – there are a few sessions and certification testing on Sunday, but the conference itself doesn’t “officially” kick off until the opening reception Sunday night. I hope to see more of this in the future – do yourself a favor and spend a day wandering around the host city before diving into the conference. I think that we are going to start staying another night after the conference to unwind and hang out with new friends. This tip was shared with us on Tuesday when Phil Sluder was paying tribute to Michelle Pillers (more on this in an upcoming post.)
I knew that this year would be a lot of fun, because there were 3 people from our local user group (SwugONE) that were attending for the first time. There is nothing quite like your first trip to SolidWorks World, and it was exciting to be able to share this experience with them. We spent most of the day hanging out, wandering up and down the riverwalk, visiting the Tower of the Americas, and enjoying Tex-Mex. Plans were made for Sunday’s activities, and then we finally called it a day.
I was fortunate enough to win my conference pass in an early bird contest through the SolidWorks blogs. I was extremely stoked about this – I wasn’t able to go to World last year, and this year wasn’t looking very promising. Having been to SolidWorks World in the past, I can honestly say that it is really a drag when you aren’t able to attend. (Following the proceedings via twitter just isn’t the same as being there.)