I've been fortunate to have attended the conference each year since 2001. At each conference, the personal interaction has been absolutely the best part - so I would second the note here about in-person networking being a valuable part of attending.
The most memorable and valuable experience was a dinner that several of us had one night (a group of about 15 from 5 separate companies - all Windchill and Pro/E administrators). Before, during and after dinner, we talked thru a very long list of issues, challenges, innovative approaches, etc, and compared notes on how each company was addressing these. Each of us walked away from that dinner with about 14 new friends / colleagues, and quite a lot of good, practical knowledge that we could apply right away.
During the dinner we talked thru and discussed all of these plus more that I can't recall at the moment: approach to ACL's, approach to source control and moving configurations to production, "smart" drawing formats and start parts, etc., approaches to iterating Released objects administratively, approaches to documenting Windchill configuations, how backup and restore is routinely tested, headaches with load from file, complaints about PTC documentation, and on and on.
During the next 2 days, several of us got together and were able to extend these discussions using laptops to access each of our Windchill systems live via VPN.
The group has gotten together for a few webex sessions since then, but the in-person discussion was by far the most valuable.
Thanks for the opportunity
Networking...I consider this one of biggest benefits of the PTC Live Conferences and in my case also the Technical Committee Meetings (both online and face to face). My most successful networking has come from a simple hand shake and trading business cards. From a quick converstation you gain so much information about what other companies are doing and how even though they are in different industries you find they common issues to you, and in many cases I have been able to build on these relationships by holding benchmarking meetings with these people or just giving them a call to see how they handled an issue. We have introduced solutions to and developed workflows based on discussions with people who have already gone down these roads so we are not re-inventing the wheel.
The value that my company has gained has become measurable. Over the course of the past 6 months we have implemented a tool that was introduced to me and some of my colegues during last years Conference, this all started from just looking for a place to sit and each lunch, I was invited to take an open seat at a table, from here I just overheard the conversation and inquired about the software. We then continued the conversation after lunch and I was able to see the addon software in action and "Eureaka" it solved a HUGE design consistancy issue we have.
I can only hope that I have been able to offer similar successes to my Network friends, as several have inquired for my assistance and I have always been willing to share my experience. As a User - other Users are your biggest source of solutions and what I have found that whether you are posting issues or ideas, replying to someone in need of technical assistance or just reaching out to ask "what did you learn from..." asking the User will always give you the best options to develop your solutions and being open minded to outside your industry ideas can flourish your own success.
Looking forward to June and creating more Networking Friendships
Mike, Chris, thanks a lot for your excellent stories. They both are great testimonials with a lot of detail and very useful information that I’m sure other attendees can benefit from. Your stories are now going to be judged by the PPL team (and I’m sure we will have a hard time to decide which one deserves the prize!). We’ll contact the winner when the decision has been taken. Thanks again for your incredible feedback!
I consider networking one of the most valuable aspects of these events. Not only am I an ex-PTC compatriot, and see many old freinds and colleagues from PTC and the customer base, but I always learn something applicable to my current endeavors. I love the open atmosphere and willingness to share amongst us who are in the trenches and innovating new ways to take advantage of PTC's powerful suite of products. I belong to several techncial committees and always particiapte in the forums or with others when i get a chance! I encourage all of you to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity! there is too much knowledge for one person to know it all, many brains are better than one!
Look forward to the event once again.
DRS Tactical Systems