RTC Australasia 2016 Chairman’s Event Wrap-up

Well, it’s over for another year.  RTC Australasia 2016 is done and dusted.  As an event, at least. There is still work to be done as follow-on initiatives from things that transpired towards growing communities and preparing for 2017.

I figured I’d pen down some notes as an event wrap-up.

Firstly, I must congratulate those who were able to get to the event. It was indeed a bit of a hike – the farthest from a capital city we’ve ever had the event in its 12 years.  Despite this, we had a smidge under 400 people attend.  Next year will not require as much effort to get to the venue…  It did have an up-side, though – we occupied about 80% of the hotel, the venue was beautiful, the weather near-perfect, and the staff were attentive and very service-oriented.  You’d be surprised how much this adds to an event like this.

I’ll be honest and say that the location probably did hamper our efforts to launch new initiatives. ARCHICON (as a co-located event) and the new estimating and construction planning streams didn’t get the numbers I’d have liked, but were successful nonetheless.  Each managed to establish a core group that are inspired and committed to building towards next year’s event.  Before then, we expect to have some smaller events and dialog with key parties to maintain the momentum established, so watch this space.

I explained a little in the event Welcome Address about various changes occurring at present – and why they are occurring.  RTC is no longer the Revit Technology Conference – not confined by name or nature to all things Revit. It is no longer constrained to design, either.  We want to build an attendee base of a much broader demographic; hence the new streams at the 2016 event.

We had Dave Rendall as our keynote speaker, and I must say all the comments I had at the event were very positive. A number of people came up to me afterwards to mention that his message had changed the way they thought about themselves or someone close to them – even their career choices! I think a keynote’s role isn’t just to inspire and motivate, but to challenge traditional thinking, and Dave did a wonderful job of that.  You can watch an earlier version of his message here. We will publish highlights from his RTCAUS talk soon.

The conference sessions seemed to go well, though as much as I could, I spent time in the new streams and ARCHICON.  Partly this was to ensure that those new to RTC understood what we stand for, and that they felt welcomed by our community.

We had a good mix of speakers – some first-timers and many experienced. It’s important to us in building a community that new speakers are given opportunities.  The venue’s A/V team were stellar – and consequently presentation visuals were very smooth.

The labs continued to provide some technical challenges, but Gordon Price was able to overcome everything thrown at him and in the end they went reasonably well. We look forward to getting to the bottom of the issues that did occur and rectifying them so that we can continue to provide you with the best possible experience through all aspects of the event.

The exhibition hall demonstrated that many of our exhibitors are getting creative with their booths, using effective methods to attract greater interest year on year.

The social events were fun – and the setting at the Hope Estate Winery provided a great place for the Friday night dinner.  Saturday’s gala dinner was fun, and it was great to see the competition this year generated significantly more entries than last year.  Despite this, Cox (and ex-Cox) staff still took home a number of prizes, so they are officially the team to beat!

This was my third year as event chair, and I must say how immensely proud I am of the event team – the RTC Australasia committee, those from other RTC events around the world, and the team at RTC Events Management (or as I call it, ‘HQ’).  I know firsthand that the team at HQ are extremely hard workers, and Wes and Heidi do a fantastic job at the helm.

We put these events on to help our industry, and it’s very satisfying to see it resonate with our community.  We’ve had a very positive response to the launch of our new streams, geared at helping downstream recipients of models and related information, so stay tuned for what transpires going forward.

For those who may not have yet heard, RTC Australasia 2017 will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, 25-27 May, 2017. Accommodation has been arranged at a couple of hotels directly across the road, and we already have some top-notch social events planned in the evenings. It’s going to be a great event and we are very excited about getting to South Australia for the first time.

You can view photographs of this year’s event here, courtesy of Kat Stanley Photography.

For those that did attend RTC Australasia 2016, the feedback survey is currently doing the rounds, so I will blog in response to the feedback in another post.

Our sponsors and exhibitors have played a significant part in the event – they are indeed part of the community.  Autodesk, HP|Nvidia, Ideate, Chaosgroup, Newforma, SysQue and CADLearning in particular.

If you’ve been before and missed the event, or if you want to use twitter to follow the event, check out #RTCAUS or follow @RTCEvents. If you want to know more about how ARCHICON went, follow @ARCHICON_AUST.

The next RTC event (or series of events!) will be all those in what (for this year) we’re calling ‘RTC Week’ in Scottsdale, Arizona:  BCS, DTS, the inaugural Data Day, and RTCNA 2016.  I look forward to seeing you there!

P.S. There is another chap I should put in a shout out to – Dom Martens, who provided the use of his racing simulator for the Glorious Gadgets booth.  I didn’t get a chance to test it myself, so that gives me something to ensure we do again next year!

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