Saturday, March 24, 2018

Recap of Midwest University 2018

Another conference has come and gone already this year... Midwest University 2018 hosted by Cad Technology Center (CTC) - aka CTC Express Tools.

The conference had over 500 attendees and covered a wide range of topics, from Autodesk Revit to Civil 3D. This was a two day conference, but I was only able to attend  on the second day. So I missed the world's #1 AI robot Sofia unfortunately.

The location was at a brand new convention facility, Mystic Lake Convention Center,  just outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area in Minnesota. Although it made for a long day, I live close enough to have driven there and back in the same day.

Given the reasonable conference cost and relatively close proximity to the #6 ranked airport in the USA (according to this article anyway) Minneapolis / St. Paul International Airport, it makes this a great option to share, learn and network on AEC design technology with a strong emphasis on Autodesk products, add-ins and more.

Below are several comments and photos, in chronological order (click to enlarge image).

Convention center entrance... that white stuff is indeed snow. Like Autodesk University, this facility is attached to a hotel/casino.

CTCs CEO Saied Berenjian... thanks for the "painting shirt"! I am never going to live that one down. But seriously, thanks for a good conference.

Lynn Allen and Oliver Turan where the fearless MCs for the general session. Sadly I did not get to talk to Lynn... I did not talk to Olver either, but I talk to him all the time as CTC is our Autodesk/Bluebeam reseller and they sell the EPP which LHB created:)

Nice tech in the "Showroom" with a larger-than-life screen in the center and then two smaller screens, one on each side, focused on the presenters. Lynn did have a little problem with here wireless mic at first, but she's a pro and worked through it until a tech swing out and replaced it.

Reeti Gupta and Vicki Patel, from HKS, giving a keynote on data analytics. Very cool stuff using CTCs BIM Data Suite. We will be implementing this soon, and I am super exicted.

The new convention facility was very swish (as my kids would say:)). Check out those cool ceilings.

The theme this year was "Forge Ahead" to align with Autodesk's new Forge technology. I am wearing one of my old 2015 'painters shirts' right now, as I write this, that says "Subscribe to the future".

At the CTC booth, I ran into the world renowned, and good friend, Paul F. Aubin!

I attended a session on Autodesk Insight (my talk was also on this subject). This session was presented by Andrew Leavitt from Leo A Daily.

Lunchtime in the exhibit hall... great food and lots of great discussions happening. I forgot to get a picture with him, but you can see Brian Mackey in this photo - he has the brightest shirt (good marketing for his consulting firm:)). Brian is one of the best speakers I know... super practical topics and serious preparation behind every presentation. If you have not seen him speak, you need to.

I got to chat with IrisVR CEO Shane Scranton again, and try out their new multi-user VR experience. It was pretty cool.

I had a great time visiting with my Enscape friends Jonathan Kn√∂fel and Kaj Burival who were working their booth in the exhibit hall... all the way from Germany. As you may know, I write blog posts for them:

CTC's infamous Shawn Zirbes and host of BIM Boradcast.

Just before my session... Thanks to my friend Dave Plumb, from BWBR, for attending and asking great questions (which were not planted:)). As well as an instructor who uses one of my textbooks in his class! Overall, the presentation on early energy modeling went well! I also gave away three copies of my book Autodesk Revit 2018 Command Reference Guide.

This is a formidable conference with many talented presenters and attendees. If you have never been to this one, it is definitely worth checking out. And while you are here you can swing by the Mall of America, Walker Art Center, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory to name a few.

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