Thursday, June 16, 2011

Solid Edge ST4 Launch Event (aka “The Solid Edge Summit”)

Six years ago, the last Solid Edge Summit was held in Cincinnati Ohio.  It was a wildly successful event.  The following year, someone made the decision to roll Solid Edge into the PLM World event and dissolve the Summit.  Needless to say it was a very bad decision as the attendance dwindled over the next 5 years to essentially a handful of  individuals which most likely happened due to a variety of reasons such as the poorly handled transition, higher cost for less value, a weakening economy, and a loss of the Solid Edge identity and community at an event that appeared to cater to NX/Teamcenter.

This year, the Solid Edge Summit was back!  Disguised as a Solid Edge ST4 Launch Event, it was essentially a 2 day user conference (June 15-16) held in Huntsville, Alabama which happens to be home of the Solid Edge Development office.  Needless to say, we as users have gotten to meet many of the development, certification, support, planning, marketing and the management team.  The agenda included a half day comprised of a business update, keynote presentation, and ST4 Introduction, followed by a day and a half of a 3 track agenda of presentations, hands on training and round table discussions.  The night before the event there was a welcome reception, and at the end of the first day, we all let our hair down at a social event held in a local arcade/bowling alley/bar & grill.

Besides the obvious training opportunity, one of the biggest advantages of going to these types of events is the building of “community”. At the Solid Edge ST4 Launch Event, that community was building fast.  Everywhere you looked, you would see Solid Edge folks.  Sit down at breakfast or lunch, and you were sitting with Solid Edge folks. At the social events, you were talking with Solid Edge folks.  A lot of folks knew each other from the newsgroup or phone calls/e-mails, but there is something about meeting folks face to face that cannot be duplicated any other way.

Everybody was very positive about this event and I’m certain they are already looking forward to next years event as much as I am.  For those who were not able to attend this event, I sure hope you can make the next one.