SolidWorks World 2009 recap

SolidWorks World 2009 has been over for more than a week now, but it feels like everyone here is still recovering and getting caught up. There’s so much activity squeezed into three days that it takes a little time to process. This year we had over 4300 attendees, which is amazing in light of the current economy. As Jeff Ray said on-stage, we were expecting 3500 if we were lucky.

If you couldn’t make it, here are a few of the highlights:

  • Listening to Sir Richard Branson talkabout the need to innovate and be creative. It was obvious that he didn’t have any kind of pre-rehearsed script he was reading off, and it’s obvious that he loves what he does, and really wants to make the world better. Jeff Ray told me later that day that when he was alone in a car with Sir Richard on the way to a press conference, all Sir Richard could talk about was an incubator Jeff had shown made from car parts, and how he wanted to get it over to Africa so they can start saving more lives.
  • Learning about all of the ways our customers and partners are getting creative in order to survive the current economic cycle. It was like technological Darwinism in action–adapt and survive.
  • Watching Jon Hirschtick give a lesson in Blackjack to 15-20 customers in his room. Everyone had a great time, and Jon proved to be an amazing storyteller and teacher at the same time.
  • Watching the people rush into the general session hall every morning, getting up front as fast as they could.
  • Getting to see Jeff ride a small pink scooter in circles around a very large Sumo wrestler.

My biggest regret is that my schedule never allowed me to check out the partner pavilion to see what people are doing with the software. I hear there were several motorcycles and even an armored military vehicle there.

If you’re interested in seeing what went on, you’re in luck, because the event got beaucoup coverage. You can check out the SolidWorks World 2009 Flickr group, read updates from various bloggers (I counted 80 entries over four days), and watch video coverage on our own blog.

And don’t believe me about the pink scooter and the Sumo? Watch this!

Matt is Head of Social Marketing at Dassault Systemes.