In 1997 or 1998, just after I moved from Solid Edge marketing into sales, Keith Winger of CTS and I had the crazy idea of holding a Solid Edge user group meeting in the Midwest. We started talking to Solid Edge users, found there was interest and put together a local user group meeting in Chicago. We started planning with no idea what we were doing, who would help and most importantly who would pay for it. We set up a bank account with $5 out of our own pocket and started looking for a venue and incurring expenses. I soon realized I was personally liable for the meeting expenses since they were on my credit card. It was time to ensure it was a success. Word quickly filtered through the Solid Edge community and we had people calling from all over the country asking to register. Somehow our little gathering in Chicago turned into the first Solid Edge “National” User Group Meeting. Eventually, Rick Mason registered from Australia turning it into the first “International” Solid Edge user group meeting. With support from Intergraph (PCs for hands on sessions) and speakers from the development organization, the meeting paid for itself and left enough money to pay for dinner at McDonalds.
The next year, Solid Edge marketing and development sponsored the meeting and moved it to Nashville. It then moved south to Atlanta for a couple of years and then to Disney in Florida for a couple of years. I spent a couple of years lobbying to move the event to the Midwest with a promise that we could draw a larger number of users. The largest meeting was held in Cincinnati which was also the last year the meeting was independent of PLM World. In 2011, after several years being part of PLM World, the Solid Edge Team again hosted an independent event. At the end of this event, Karsten Newberry asked the Edgers in attendance their opinion of the event, he was greeted with a standing ovation.
Here is the point to this posting: I have been involved with Solid Edge since its inception. I have been to every Solid Edge User group meeting. I have asked hundreds of attendees if the event was worth the time and money they invested to be there. Every customer I have ever asked felt the same -- . From a professional point of view, this will be the best 2 day investment you will make this year. The return on investment is unquestionable. If you have not seriously considered attending the 2012 Solid Edge University you should review the information
On a personal note, I look forward to seeing some old friends, like Rick Mason, back in Nashville in June and perhaps forming some new connections as well. If our paths have crossed in the past, please make a point to say hello while we are there. If our paths have not crossed in the past, I look forward to meeting you as well.
Ally PLM Solutions