What would have been my tenth, is now my first! Highlights from my #SOLIDWORKS Worlds #3DXW20

SOLIDWORKS World 2020 would have been my tenth World!  That all changed last year in Dallas,.  1:27:50 into the Monday – Day 1 General Session, Gian Paolo Bassi – CEO,  Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS, announced that the next years event would be in Nashville.   That caught most by surprise.  After all it was the Monday’s General Session and seasoned “World” attendees know that the next years event is always the last announcement on the Wednesday General Session.

Applause, more muted than rapturous!   Were we paying attention, we heard Nashville … excited it’s Nashville ….. we heard …. what …. 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020 …..

Twelve months have almost passed and the reality is that 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020 is now only a few weeks away.   Most are excited to be going to another “World” event and if nothing else there is a level of intrigued to see just what 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020 will deliver!

I am a great believer that you can’t move forward, or change what you are doing, without first understanding where you have come from!  So with that in mind, I’ve been looking back over my past nine SOLIDWORKS Worlds, doing a little reminiscing and like many before, making a TOP TEN LIST of THINGS I LIKE from SOLIDWORKS World’s past.

10. How it all began, for me.

I need to go back to the very beginning.  It’s the story of how I attended my first SOLIDWORKS World.  SOLIDWORKS World 2011 – San Antonio.   It goes like this.  November 2010 and Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS announces the SolidWorks World 2011 Internet Correspondent Contest 

I take one look at the blog post, think about it for 30 seconds and fire off a quick response, for my own amusement (if you want to see it, select the above link and it is the second entry) and think nothing else of it!   I haven’t read that entry for many years now ….. but it still cracks me up!   At the time, I thought nothing of it, because in my mind, I’m thinking, there is no way that they would fly me half way around the world …. well apparently I was wrong.

9IMG_6961. A legend is born.    SOLIDWORK World 2015 – Phoenix, the year Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS either by intent or by accident finally surrenders to the passion of the waiting crowd, outside the entrance doors to the General Session.  The back of the attendee badges states …. Run (don’t walk) to the daily General Session and therefore officially sanctioning what was to become known as “the running of the nerds”

Video from SOLIDWORK World 2019 – Dallas

8. A couple of things different that made a difference!

SOLIDWORKS World 2017 – Los Angeles.  Over the past couple of years Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS has been tinkering with the “traditional” format of the General Sessions.  Some have been complete failures, if you ask long time “World” attendees.   Certainly messing with the What’s New – technology preview of the next years release like Los Angeles 2018, by spreading it over the three day was a error.  Last year in Dallas by removing it from the General Session, putting it in a separate against other sessions, was all together catastrophic.

To counter that, presenting the General Sessions at Los Angeles 2018 “in the round” was innovating and I thought suited the venue.  That year also saw the introduction of Tracey B Wilson as the live event host.   A master stroke which has brought a new level of professionalism to the General Sessions.

7. Tuesday Night Special Event!

Lets be honest there is never a bad special event, some are just a little more special than others!  A couple do stand out more than others!   Cowboys Dance Hall – San Antonio stands out, maybe because it was my first (and at the time I thought most likely my last as well), maybe because of the indoor professional Bull riding, the food, the band or the people!  Either, or all, of these things made for one most enjoyable, big night.

Jump a few years forward and despite being at Disney World – SOLIDWORKS World 2013 – Orlando the special event was held at Universal Studios Theme Park.  Anytime you have a limited number of people at Universal, access to free rides and food stands though out the park made for an entertaining, fun night ……. or maybe it was the churros!

Looking back is great but looking forward may just be better,  3DEXPERIENCE World 2020 – Nashville, certainly looks to continue the tradition of special, Tuesday Night Special Events with a ……… STREET PARTY …. and whats not to like about that, especially in Music city!

6. It’s SOLIDWORKS World but …

It’s always a bit of a journey for me to get to any SOLIDWORKS World.  Door to door by the time I hang around an airport or two it is normally around 24-28hours travel time.  It’s also way to far to travel not to try and sneak in a little personal time and see a few of the local sights and attractions.   Normally that just means getting out early and pounding the streets to take in the city sights.  SOLIDWORKS World 2015 – Phoenix was way to close to the Grand Canyon not to take in this natural wonder!

5. Model Mania®

Last year saw the 20th year of Model Mania® a little modelling contest run by Mark Schneider.   Designed to test those with deep knowledge of SOLIDWORKS tools and features, with the added pressure of accuracy and posting the faster time!

But for those of us without those abilities and skills then there is the joy of watching Mark run though his process in the General Session.  He never fails to drop a gem of an idea, or a technique, most of us would never have dreamed of using!   A highlight of ever years General Session!  Hopefully we will see it’s return to it’s rightful location after last year being pushed out to a separate breakout session!

4. General Session, how they start! 

How the General Session starts normally sets the tone and the atmosphere for the entire session. Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS normally does a great job of this, with rock music pumping, killer animations and customer videos on the big screens.  The Monday Day 1 General Session of SOLIDWORKS World 2014 – San Diego was definitely one of the great start to any session.    The appearance of the eatART Mondo Spider “walking” onto the stage in a sea of colour and sound certainly set the tone for the rest of the event.

Mondo Spider

3. If that was a great start, then this was a better finish.

Keynote speakers are for the most informative.  Some are inspirational and some are more entertaining.  Elias Knubben – Festo – Bionic Projects from Day 2 of the General Session – SOLIDWORK World 2013 Orlando certainly fell into the informative and very interesting technical presentation on their Festo Bionic Projects.  His delivered best described as reserved and almost monotone!   The tone in the room was one of respected but reserved until he said the words  …..  “Would you like to see it fly?”

Well would you …. From respect to rapturous cheers & applause in a heartbeat!

2. What’s New – Technology preview of the next years release

All of them! There has never been one, which didn’t have the audience, entertained and most in tear of laughter.   Without a doubt the most highly anticipated segment of, traditionally the Day 3 General Session when we were teased with the What’s New – Technology preview of the next years release,  One of the many reasons the “Preview” is highly anticipated is not only are we curious about the direction the development of the SOLIDWORKS product is taking, but we all want to see who they are going to send up!      Over the years we have seen Messrs Pilkington, Barrow,  Regnerus, Schneider and Anliker show possible new feature for SOLIDWORKS in a humorous parody of known shows.  In the past couple of years they have been joined by Megan Duane, Yan Killy and Michael Steeves.  Of course over the years they have been joined by a numerous cast of Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS employees, all keen to show off there acting & comedic credentials! 

We know the jokes and puns are going to be bad!  More so we expect the same of the acting!  I’m sure it all part of the smoke & mirrors act to distract from what feature they are showing and what it might do!

Over the years they have “taken the piss” out of themselves and so many show and have never not delivered.  Hopefully it will return to its rightful place this year at 3DEXPERIENCE World.

Who ever gets tied of seeing Megan give Michael a clip behind the ears!

1.  So what is the most memorable?

Keynote speakers should be informative, educational, thought provoking, inspiring and at times (and hopefully) entertaining,  SOLIDWORKS Worlds have had the full range over the years.

Last year Jim McKelvey co-founder of Square  provided a most entertaining, funny, thought provoking Keynote. Up with the best of the Keynote that I’ve seen at SOLIDWORKS World,

Hugh Herr – MIT Media Lab – Biomechatronics Director at SOLIDWORKS World 2014 – San Diego was a most inspirational speaker


The Howe Brothers of Howe & Howe Technologies Inc had some great stories and put on a most entertaining presentation at SOLIDWORKS World 2012 – San Diego.

But for me I continue to go back to my first SOLIDWORKS World and my first General Session for what I consider to be the best Keynote presentation.   As I have commented on many times over the years, I’m a child of the Apollo Space Mission era, so to see & hear Gene Kranz and Commander Capt. Jim Lovell recounting that era was awe-inspiring.   To this day I have never sat in a room with 5000+ people, all, who were listening with such intensity to hear these two gentlemen recount their stories.   I still can feel the silence from the room as everyone in there, hung on to every word that was spoken.

Well that’s my Top Ten  list!  It could easy have been a list of twenty or fifty, as there have been plenty of great memories over the years from my SOLIDWORKS Worlds.

3DEXPERIENCE World 2020 – Nashville is a new name and I guess it will deliver “new experiences”!  I’m optimistic and with only a couple of weeks to go I’m looking forward to the event.   More so I’m looking forwards to catching up with a whole lot of friends …. maybe that should have been my number 1? 



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