Saturday, October 27, 2018

BILT Europe 2018 Reflections

Just back from BILT Europe 2018, which continued into a family vacation though Italy, I wanted to share some highlights and images from the conference and more.

Host City/Country

Each year the conference moves around Europe. This year the it was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is a beautiful, pedestrian-friendly, city. Here is just one of many photos I took while exploring with my family.


Opening Address

The 300+ delegates gathered for opening comments by Marcus Fich, BILT Europe Chairperson, which was followed by a keynote speaker. Marcus did a great job setting the stage for what turned out to be a well orchestrated event.

A plug to the companies represented by speakers... LHB's logo is shown in the upper left (black box with white letters).

Another opening session photo showing some of the delegates.

Exhibit Hall Facilities

The exhibit hall was located in a separate, adjacent, building which was nice given the beautiful weather.

There are many exhibitors showing off their products and services inside.


It's no surprise I am a big Enscape fan. Both founders, Moritz Luck and Thomas Schander were there. Here are a couple pics of me with them:)

Here is Thomas chatting with Michal Dengusiak about possibilities of viewing his SAM (Single Analysis Model) in Enscape.

The exhibit hall had a special place prepared for exhibitors to do a short, 15 minute, presentation on something they offer. Mortiz gave an overview of Enscape, which included some new features.

Cool backdrop...

And, finally, but not of lower priority... the coffee was sponsored by Ensacpe. Slovenia, and Italy, have a strong coffee culture. Did you know that just this year the first and only, yes the first, Starbucks opened in Italy - they knew it would be a hard nut to crack! Super high-end espresso machines are everywhere. But at BILT we only had to walk to the exhibit hall to have an excellent espresso or cappuccino thanks to Enscape! BTW, if you could not tell, I like coffee;)


The People

The best part of these events is seeing old friends and making new ones. Here I am with Carl Stroms and Jason Kunkel.

Carl Storms, from IMAGINiT, has now officially presented at all four BILT conferences in a single year; North America, Australia, Singapore and Europe. Carl was super generous with his time and offered to be the lab assistant for my double lab... that was 2.5 hours! It worked out that my family and Carl and his wife had breakfast together Sunday morning after the conference. Lots of fun all around here, thanks Carl!

BTW, like me, Carl is not getting a full, free, ride to all of these world travels... self-motivation and love for what we do!

I think Joe Banks has previously done all four events in a single year as well, as a speaker. I do not know of anyone else who has done that! Crazy, cool and expensive... but mostly cool. I have been to all four events, but only two maximum in a single year.

Update: Carl tells me Kelly Cone and Elaine Lee also attended/presented at all four this year. Amazing.

Jason Kunkel did a lab on the Autodesk Model Checker his company, CADD Microsystems, created and maintains for Autodesk. I was his lab assistant.

And a few photos and selfies... always which I had taken more.

A photo with Silvia Taurer, BILT Region Manager, Europe...

Here is Adam Sheather from Bad Monkeys... with a Carl photo-bomb.

Gordon Price of Pragmatic Praxis...

Virat Manchanda from Imagine BIM in India who is a BILT Europe regular! He also brought some candy!

Daniel Hurtubise of Data-Shapes...

The Sessions

Of course the main reason most attend BILT is to learn stuff. This year was no exception, I personally learned a lot in addition to sharing a lot.

As it turned out, the first class I attended I also got to introduce. Usually a BILT committee member introduces a speaker to kick of the session, which is really nice. In this case Phil Read was putting out another fire so I was asked to help out! And as part of the RTC/BILT "family" I was happy to do so.

That first first class was on VR and AR by Dan Chasteen and David Sewell from Perkins + Will. They offered a great overview of what they are doing in this space and even had some in the audience come up and try out the hardware they brought.

Cool classrooms...

After the first class I had presented my 2.5 hour double lab, which I feel went pretty well.

One more class to mention, there are more but I need to finish this post up, is Michal Dengusiak from BuroHappold Engineering, who presented on his Single Analysis Model (SAM) workflow to do all-things mechanical engineering in a single-source-of-truth way, which I love. Later, we talked about proposing a joint session in the future with elements of my early energy modeling efforts of an architect and his SAM workflow to cover the entire project in a single session. Stay tuned for that.

Also, as you can see here, some speakers had the "big stage" as their platform for their session... pretty cool.

Closing Address

All good things come to an end... the three-day conference goes by in a flash!

Marcus wrapping things up...

Speaker Debrief

Immediate after the conference the speakers are rounded up and asked to be honest about how things went and what could have been better. This is in addition to the survey sent to all delegates... there is a real sense of wanting to improve, where possible, the "for users, by users" conference.

Here Marcus Fich, Rui Gavina, Bob Bell and Wesley Benn hand out a speaker gift...

...which was an interesting drink holder... I have a nice collection of speaker gifts from over the years. But the small drone (I actually got two back in 2015 for RTC NA and Asia) crashed a long time ago!


In the conference bag there was a nice piece of chocolate with honey and bee pollen.

Here is an entire suitcase I filled with giveaways; books, candy, coffee and more. This empty suitcase was then filled with souvenirs and gifts from our subsequent family vacation through Italy.

I have been to more, but my wife and kids have now been to 9 RTC/BILT events around the world:)

Another name badge added to the pile...

Next Year

Looking forward to next year's BILT in Edinburgh Scotland!

Will you be there? You should go... even if you have to pay a few bucks yourself, it is worth it.

Just for Fun

One last thing I want to share, just for fun, is my love/admiration for "street artists". Especially the ones actually creating the art on the spot. We bought three on this trip; one at Lake Bled, Venice and Rome. We also try to get a photo/selfie with the artist holding the item we bought:)

At Lake Bled, in Slovenia, we came upon an artist on a pathway along the lake. We picked a painting of the lake/island. He then proceeded to paint my families portrait on the backside as shown below. Super cool... but now which side do we frame? Have to look into a two-sided table frame I guess. And the photo of the artist below shows the view immediately to my right!

Too much fun!

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