Here I sit on the train, commuting back to work on a warm Monday morning, attempting to summarize what concluded a mere 27 hours ago. I'm attempting to find the right way to express my feelings about the RTC North America 2012 conference in Stone Mountain, GA and I seem to keep returning to Bradley Cooper's character in The Hangover II when he makes that fateful phone call..."it happened again."
Now, I'm not saying we lost all track of reality in a drunken stupor - rather that I feel a nostalgia of great events in the past. Meeting new friends, learning truly valuable skills, and having a whole bag of fun in the process.Let's start from the beginning...even before departing New York for Atlanta. At AU in November 2011, my good old friend Wes Benn says that I absolutely must submit a class proposal for RTC in June. I was supposed to give a presentation at the first RTC North America event earlier in 2011, but an important family event forced me to defer my presentation to an excellent colleague who did a bang-up job of Effective Coordination, avoiding an imminent #screwtastrophe.
So, I submitted a topic called "Building Smarter Models" that was accepted and I was on my way to Georgia. Fast forward to June 27 and I arrive with two others at Hartsfield Airport late that evening. We share a car out to the Evergreen Marriott Resort at Stone Mountain - a 40 minute drive. Along the way, Scott Davis receives a call from Jim Balding with the news that there are no rooms left for the three of us. Surely this is one of Jim's practical jokes, but it turned out to be true. After shuttling back and forth between two hotels in the area until 1 am, we had a plan - Bruce got a room, Scott shacked up with Jim for the night, and I stayed with Wes.
We were first treated to a fascinating "fireside (albeit a virtual fire) chat" with the one and only Dick Morley - the father of such modern day innovations as the programmable logic controller, anti-lock brakes, and the picture keys on McDonalds restaurant registers. Dick was followed by Steve Stafford and a few folks from Autodesk talking about what's new in Revit 2013 and what's to come. Of course, Autodesk can't reveal details about what's coming without everyone being under NDA, so I felt that was an unnecessary addition to Steve's summary.
After lunch, we were off to the first round of classes. This is where the magic begins. Without a fully detailed summary of every session I attended, let me just say that you probably won't find a better assembly of speakers and topics covering Revit and related technologies than at an RTC event. I'd have to say that my favorite presenter was Marcello Sgambelluri. His passion, eloquence, enthusiasm, and overall knowledge of each topic was remarkable and inspiring.
RTC is a multi-track event in which there are several simultaneous classes in regular time slots over three days. It is difficult to decide which class to attend in any given schedule slot and they don't yet record the proceedings. I hope they do in the future because I didn't hear anything but positive reviews from my colleagues attending other sessions.
One thing that seems to be receding from the itinerary of other industry conferences are the social events. This is where RTC certainly doesn't skimp. As event founder, Wes and his committee understand the immeasurable value of networking at these types of venues. It might make their event a little more costly, but I wouldn't even hesitate to keep coming if they keep up their high standard of excellence. On Friday night, we were treated to a paddle boat ride across the lake to the Stone Mountain Golf Clubhouse for a fine BBQ dinner and on Saturday, the gala dinner concluded the conference with the announcement of the contest winners and a bluegrass band.
www.revitconference.com to learn more about these upcoming events.