Reflections on BILTna 2017

It has been about 4 weeks since the conference. The memories are still fresh in my mind so I thought I would describe my impressions.

First, I must thank my incredible team for all their hard work. Many hours were spent prior to the event. We squeezed in a few hours of sleep each night during the week of the conference. There was also the formal debriefing on Sunday following the event. And there were lots of informal discussions that went into the wee hours of the morning for days afterwards. You might think that there would be a few months of down-time for us after all that. But we are already having meetings to prepare for next year!

 

Many delegates came up to me during and after the event to tell me how much they enjoyed the conference. I appreciate such feedback. I loved hearing what people thought. While I enjoyed the positive comments, I also took seriously anything that folks told me. After all, it is only by you telling us what you think that we can continue to improve.

The days leading up to the start of the event were busy but never overwhelming. The help of our volunteers and event staff was crucial to making sure we were ready for the first day. Some of you might not know, but I was fighting a bad cold at the beginning of the week. You don’t know how happy I was that ginseng, vitamin C, and other cold remedies helped me get over it quickly!

The first day started with a bang. Our global platinum sponsors (Autodesk, HP|NVIDIA) were engaging. Revizto was happy to introduce David Rendall who was one of our best keynote speakers for North America to date. We heard lots of positive comments about him from you during the rest of the conference. I introduced the “RTC Swear Jar” (more about that a bit later). We even finished our plenary session on time, which I’m sure our speakers in the next session appreciated.

Day Two also started on a great note with our best Glorious Gadgets session EVER! Desirée Mackey and Nick Kramer did a great job. A big thank-you comes from all of us to Lynn Allen for her help coaching our plenary sessions.

Our final day wrapped up all the wonderful sessions with a heartfelt thank-you from me to all the folks involved in the conference. Our gala dinner was a lot of fun and we kept the band playing for an extra 30 minutes thanks to our enthusiasm (if not our skill) on the dance floor.

Now, back to the “RTC Swear Jar”. I know that there were concerns that RTC, by changing its branding to BILT, would lose focus on what made it the event that it was. I hope we proved this year that we have not lost our focus. The swear jar was simply a light-hearted reminder that the name of the conference changed. Revit is still one of the primary tools we use in our day-to-day work. Yet we have always recognized that Revit is not the sole application we use. When the conference was called RTC we still accepted classes that were not about Revit. As I mentioned when introducing the swear jar, Revit will remain a primary focus of the conference. But with the rebranding to BILT we are encouraging users of other applications to submit their ideas on how the tools they use improve their work.

With that idea in mind, we had a nice selection of Tekla classes this year. Expect a strong Tekla track again next year. Start reaching out to your Tekla friends now to get them interested in attending BILTna in St. Louis next year. We would also love hearing what other design applications that you use would be great additions to the conference. Don’t worry, we won’t dilute the conference to a jack-of-all-trades about design applications. But we will likely focus on an application like Tekla for a few years in a row to build enthusiasm for such products.

We also had a full track devoted to, and a room configured for, round table discussions for the first time this year. We got lots of great feedback about those sessions. Please consider submitting round tables for next year’s conference.

I wrap this up with an another heartfelt thank you, this time to you, the attendees of BILTna 2017!

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