Welcome to SolidWorks World 2015!

You’ve arrived! Welcome to beautiful Phoenix, Arizona, home of cacti, rattlesnakes, and SolidWorks World 2015.

What’s next? Registration of course. Head over to the top floor of the stunning Phoenix Convention Center to register, and pick up your first collection of swag. This year’s backpack transforms into a messenger bag, the T-shirt carries on the hexagonal theme of all the media we’ve seen leading up to the event, and even the badges have gotten a modern makeover.

Everyone has access to wifi in the convention center this year! The back of your badge provides the password, along with some other very helpful tips (like “Drink free beer daily”).

While you’re in the registration area, you can even get your picture taken with this year’s animated mascots, or get some one-on-one help installing the new mobile app.

The wifi isn’t the only thing that makes the Phoenix Convention Center great. The gorgeous architecture and art installations make the few days you’ll spend here even more memorable.

Now that you’re settled in, what can you expect for the rest of the week?

Monday, immediately after breakfast, you’ll want to be first in line for the General Session. Do as the badge says and run, don’t walk. This is when they’ll likely make the official announcement that GianPaolo Bassi is replacing Bertrand Sicot as CEO of SolidWorks, as Bertrand moves up to a position in Dassault. We’ll also learn more about the release of the new Industrial Conceptual product (which was teased last year), and Rick Chin will chat with SolidWorks customer Thalmic about their incredible products.

After the keynote address by Bre Pettis of Makerbot, there are dozens of technical training sessions during the day, but only really matters. I expect to see you all at my presentation, “What You Didn’t Know About Assemblies and Mating” at 4:30 in room North 120D. Be there or be 2D.

Monday night is “Find a Party” night. Hook up with your VAR or your favorite vendor, or hang out with your fellow CSWEs and Twitterers at “the most interesting restaurant in America.” There’s no shortage of nightlife tonight, but you may have to go searching for it. Take a risk, make some friends, and get out there.

No time for recovery, because you’re back at it again bright and early Tuesday morning. Today’s General Session will feature presentations from the User Group, Education, and Certification teams, as well as announcements about major upgrades to my.SolidWorks. You’ll also hear from another incredible SolidWorks customer, Astrobiotic.

Robots… IN SPAAAAAAAAAACE!

Continuing the space theme, the keynote address will be delivered by futurist, theoretical physicist, author and professor Dr. Michio Kaku. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Nova, or some Discovery Channel special on the universe, you’ll probably recognize Dr. Kaku.

After choosing from today’s dozens of stimulating technical training sessions, Tuesday night ends with a bang. And a YEE-HAWW probably. The thousands of SolidWorks World attendees will be treated to an unforgettable night of Mexican Rodeo thrills, live music, and authentic food at Corona Ranch.

Another day, another General Session, but this is the big one. So packed with information on new features and products, you can’t afford to miss it, no matter how hardy you partied the night before. They’ll review the Model Mania contest (which you should try out while you’re checking out the Partner Pavilion), and announce the winners. They’ll present the final keynote speaker of the conference – designer and perpetual TED Talker Jinsop Lee. Bruce Holway and the Product Definition team will announce this year’s Top Ten enhancement list with the entire SolidWorks community has been voting on through the forums for months (and I’ll update my data). This section always a lot of applause from the crowd, as they hear that their favorite features will likely be implemented soon.

Most importantly, the Product Marketing team will present their ever-entertaining What’s New skit, giving us our first sneak peek into what to expect in SolidWorks 2016. Just to give you an idea of the quality of these gems, recent skits have included CADman and Rib-in, and Back to the Feature.

Finally, the executives will bid us a final farewell, and announce the location of SolidWorks World 2016 (NO SPOILERS PLEASE!)

Before you pack it in and head back to reality, remember there are still three Technical Training sessions on Wednesday after the General Session, so don’t waste a second! It’s easy to lose momentum at this point, but remember, World is an endurance test. You’ll feel so accomplished after you power through to the end.

Good luck!

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