SolidWorks World - Sometimes it's About the Fun
Up at 6:00am, and off to breakfast at 7:00am. Join the herd at the doors, rush in with the crowd, and sit down for the 8:30am to 10:00am general session. You get a short break before heading to the first block of technical sessions at 10:30am before lunch sneeks up on you at 12:00pm. Phone home, check your email, and eat a nice lunch, then move along to the afternoon technical sessions until 6:00pm.
Quite a day, huh? It's a typical weekday at SolidWorks World - 11 straight hours. You'll do this for 2-1/2 days you know. Tell that to your co-workers back at the office when they mention the word "boondoggle".
I'll let you in on a little secret though, there's plenty of fun to be had at SolidWorks World. It starts off with the Sunday evening reception in the Partner Pavilion. 100+ exhibitors, the Product Showcase, food and drink, and a few thousand SolidWorks enthusiasts all getting ready for three days of work by winding down just a little. You can hang out with SolidWorks employees and SWUGN representatives in the SolidWorks booth. get a peek at new products in the Partner Theater, or just wander around the food stations. It's casual on Sunday evening - the real work starts the next morning.
Monday evening offers up another reception (casual of course), but if you're a CSWP, Monday night is - the CSWP Offsite Event. The certification team at SolidWorks is made up of guys that love to party, and they never disappoint at this event. There will be food, drinks, prizes, and a whopping good time this year.
When it come to fun, the pièce de résistance is the Tuesday evening offsite event. Imagine drving cars down a 1/4 mile drag strip (Las Vegas, 2004), or roaming free through the Animal Kingdom (Orlando, 2009). We've been treated to an indoor bull riding event (San Antonio, 2011) as well as a sushi buffet, live music and an oxygen bar (Las Vegas, 2002). Maybe the most popular event ever will be repeated in 2012 when we return to the Gaslamp District of San Diego. Unlimited food and drinks at clubs and restaurants, live music, and the occasional surprise await you right across the street from the convention center.
If all of this sounds tiring, it is. My advice to you though is to go full steam for 3-1/2 days and don't look back. You can catch up on your rest when you get back to work.
Here's a shot of 1000 (or so) engineers rockin' the house in San Antonio last year.