Industry Spotlight: Career Building Conferences

With Autodesk University (AU) only a couple weeks away, I find myself realizing how much these four days not only affect, but more importantly further, my career. On top of that, AU is not the only one out there for the AEC industry professional. Revit Technology Conference (RTC) is blowing up with more locations each year, and trending topics like BIM and FM/O&M are becoming major standalone events. Because of this, I felt it would be beneficial for everyone to take a couple minutes to consider this very topic, and the many ways these events could improve, enhance, and further your career.

Everyone gets the idea that these conferences offer a break from the day to day projects, a trip to some vacation spot (sometimes), and a great opportunity to learn new things. But there is much more to it than that! I want to break it down into three main sections:

  1. Environment. This is, as mentioned above, not just an opportunity to get out of the office and see what else is going on, but it’s the fact that you are able to me around like minded individuals. You are given the opportunity to see what others are doing with the same software, what advancements they have made within their firms, and what workflows and best practices they utilize to improve and succeed within the same industry. These people come together to share and learn, as everyone is able to then take it back to their firms and provide efficient, productive, and successful ways to work. The best part is the fact that more commonly today, most events are offering not only lecture style classes but hands on labs too, allowing the user to experience the process, not just hear about it.
  2. Exposure. This is something I never realized until my second or third major conference as I spent the majority of my time trying to soak in every minute of every class. But once I opened myself up to this concept, I flourished within the community. Getting to these events allow us the chance to meet people, gain insight to their world and let them into yours. Connections are made, often from other cities, states, and even countries. This can make a huge impact afterwards when you now have users to connect with globally that you never had before. This network allows for many things from workflow, to having another set of eyes, giving alternative ideas or solutions, to even providing contact info to others for future opportunities to come.
  3. Enlightenment. This is my favorite part. Often users in a BIM Management role are dealing with users that reject anything they don’t already know, resist change, and simply make life difficult for everyone involved. Even when everyone is on the same page and dive right in, challenges are often scattered along the path to success and these events give a peace of mind. They display successful projects, ones that are 10 times the size of what you are dealing with. They offer hope, examples of what can be done and especially what has been done making everything else seem so trivial and unnecessarily complicated. It’s a great boost of energy and excitement that you won’t find anywhere else when discussing BIM and the future of the AEC Industry.

Of course not everyone is able to take advantage of the opportunitt due to costs, deadlines, or other unfortunate reasons, but with multiple sources offering many valuable reasons to be included (like this one), it is becomming very clear that it is always a better choice to go than not. I would also like this opportunity to hopefully start a trend moving forward with these articles and more to allow the conversation to take off and allow others further input into the discussion. As I wirite this, I am creating a thread on the forums at AUGI and would appreciate feedback and also the ability to list what conferences you know about, what ones you will be attending and lets get the word out to everyone what is avialable for us!



Brian Andresen


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