SolidWorks World 2011 was held in San Antonio, Texas at the Henry B. Gonzalez convention center from Sunday, Jan. 23 to Wednesday, Jan. 26. SolidWorks is 3D computer aided design software. Keynote speakers for the 2011 event were Gene Kranz, NASA mission control director, and Captain Jim Lovell, Apollo 13 Commander. These were the two key men (flight director leader and spacecraft commander) who guided the crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft safely back to earth.. The Apollo 13 mission is remembered for Captain Lovell’s message, "Houston, we have a problem."
Registration for the conference was held on Sunday and training sessions were held Monday through Wednesday. Breakfast and lunch were provided and snacks were located in the Partner Pavilion. The Partner Pavilion is an exhibit hall where companies showcase their products and services that enhance the SolidWorks CAD (computer aided design) software, such as 3D printers, computers and specialty software.
I attended the SolidWorks World 2011 conference with two business associates. We arrived in San Antonio on Sunday afternoon, checked into the hotel, then registered for the conference. Sunday evening we were invited to a corporate event. The corporate sponsor provided dinner (bar-b-que brisquet and roasted vegetables) and entertainment. The banquet room was set up with casino games. None of the chips had any cash value so it was all for fun.
Monday began with breakfast at the convention center, then off to the morning general assembly where Gene Kranz and Captain Jim Lovell gave their presentations. It was a rare privilege for me to listen to a history lesson presented by the people who lived the events. I was captured by every sentence. This was already a great conference. I felt that a good theme for the 2011 conference should "Ingenuity and Teamwork".
Training sessions included instructions for SolidWorks users of all skill levels. My itinerary was structured around sessions that helped build skills that would benefit my organization. I scheduled sessions that covered a wide range of topics, including CAD standards, mechanical analysis, product data management, and animation techniques.
This was my second time attending a SolidWorks World conference. I also attended the SolidWorks World 2010 conference, which was held in Anaheim, California. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed both events, I must admit that I enjoyed the surroundings in San Antonio more than Anaheim. The convention center complex in Anaheim was more appealing than the convention center in San Antonio, however, the Riverwalk atmosphere in San Antonio was impressive.
I have used several CAD software packages in my business career and SolidWorks is my favorite.