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CADD On the Road - BILT NA 2017 Edition (formerly RTC)

CADD MicrosystemsSeptember 20th, 2017

The best way to attend a conference...submit a paper (or 3) and have one accepted! Jump with joy, then then stop and go, oh I actually have to put together a presentation! All those feelings ran through my head when I got my acceptance email to speak at BILT NA 2017. I have been dreaming of going to this conference since I first heard about it over 5 years ago and now I finally had my chance and on top of it, it was in a place that I had never been - Toronto! I packed my bags and went, along with my fellow CADD team members - Jason Kunkel and TJ Meehan, who presented a lab session on Maintaining Revit Model Standards with Revit Model Checker and Configurator.

[caption id="attachment_28768" align="alignnone" width="700"] Me presenting on how to create a signage package in Revit.[/caption]

As a BILT newbie I was very impressed with how well organized, proactive, and responsive the conference planning team was, and how smoothly the conference ran. The food was great, the swag was great (oh yeah, and the lectures were good, too) but seriously, hands down this is the best conference I have ever attended. It's the first time where I've been in a room with so many GEEKS who completely embraced their geekdom. It was great to go to lectures where there were things over my head (WHAT?! I can turn my Revit model into a VIDEO GAME using Stingray?!) I learned new techniques for things that I use all the time (supertags!) and got a lot of validation that I actually was doing things the same way as people who are considered the experts in our industry. I met some of the people who write my Revit manuals (swoon!) and tried out a VR headset for the first time (while Jason recorded me doing so without my knowledge).

[caption id="attachment_28763" align="alignnone" width="750"] Me, trying out VR for the first time. I'm sure that I looked pretty silly but it was super fun to fly through the air, put out fires and step off the top floor of a building![/caption]

For those of you who have never been to a BILT conference before, I highly recommended it. It's only about 550 people, so much smaller than AU's 10 THOUSAND, which means that you will actually see the same people over and over again and can really have good conversations and make great connections.

Friday night the conference had the run of the Toronto Science Center, where we had fancy cocktails, ate some bugs, had fancy sausages and ice cream, and got to play with all the fun science stuff. They even took us there in school buses.

[caption id="attachment_28767" align="alignnone" width="700"] Taking the school bus to the Ontario Science center, BUGS! and cool blue tunnel-passageway.[/caption]

For the closing session, they always talk about up and coming technology. Here's Paul Aubin, as a robot! (although this thing has been around for about 3-4 years now...)

[caption id="attachment_28769" align="alignnone" width="525"] The Paul Aubin-bot![/caption]

Of course it wouldn't be a BILT conference without an awesome party at the end, complete with a photo booth and some nerdy humor.

[caption id="attachment_28770" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Photo booth! - (L-R) Our table, CADD, and the DC contigent; our friends from Moseley; Nerdy humor.[/caption]

Hope to see you next year in......

For more information about BILT's past and future, visit their website at and check out their other events around the world. The next one is coming up is BILT EUR in Denmark, the first week of October.

Interested in learning more? We'd love to chat!

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