Much has been written about AU and new attendees, but what about if you are going for the second time or haven’t been in a while? Well expect changed.
I remember the first AU I went to way back in 2006. That year the civil mixer was held at one of the Venetian’s night clubs. Lets just say the next year’s mixer combined with the entire AEC industry was much more subdued than the next year. A definite change.
The level of giveaways has greatly varied over the years. I think the peak was 2007, where there appeared to be plenty of giveaways. Last year, most likely (sorry 7th grade English teacher for using the ‘dead’ words consecutively) due to the economy, I found the number of giveaways was way down. Hopefully this year we’ll see a rebound in the number of junk items we can take home, or attempt to take home (in reference to the AUGI Mug with liquid inside).
The event length changes also. Last year the a whole 1/2 day got chopped off the schedule. This year AU got shorter with the Thursday evening event being replaced with a $75 MGM Resorts Gift Card (also known as a make your own party card).
Another change I’ve personally seen is the events you may get invited too. There’s this whole underground world of AU events. There’s meetings where Autodesk gets customers feedback, whether its a usability study or a group discussion on sustainability, there are also beta launch events. If you haven’t been to a beta launch event, make sure to get in the know if you want to see what’s upcoming in the next version of Civil 3D.
If your current schedule is full of the same type of classes you took the first time or the last time, how about changing it up and seeing what other Autodesk products are out there. Do you work with Civil 3D on water projects and end up a water tank you are working on? You may want to check out an MEP or Plant class to see if the products can improve your workflows. Since you’re in the class you can ask those around you what their experiences are, because they probably have done it or are looking for the same answers as you. If you wanted to know a bunch more about programming, there’s classes for that also.
I guess the biggest change for me is in the prizes I won. The first year I won a lightly used laptop computer from Tench’s company. I haven’t come close to a prize like that, maybe this year I’ll be able to get a spork from the TechSmith booth this year.
This year is also different for me because it will be the first real year as a blogger at AU. At my last official AU in 2007, my blog was fairly new and no one really came and visited the blog. Today I have fairly good regular traffic to the blog’s content and people actually know who of me if I mention the blog.