I have a love/hate relationship with conferences. I enjoy the presentations and learning opportunities but I don’t always like the pressure to network. I’m an introvert by nature so I tend to shy away from large gatherings. Plus, technology conferences can sometimes be a snore. Too much tech and not enough story.
That said, I’ve always been curious about the Revit Technology Conference (RTC). RTC is not run by Autodesk (though Autodesk is a sponsor). It’s a smaller conference and more focused than many I’ve attended. I’ve been to Autodesk University six times and I think I’m done with it. Way too many people plus it’s always in Las Vegas. I like Las Vegas and all but a little variety wouldn’t hurt.
When I learned that RTC Europe was going to be held in Dublin, I jumped at the chance. My dad was from Galway and we traveled to Ireland a bunch of times when I was a kid. It’s been years since I’ve been back. Conferences are a great excuse to travel. RTC events are held at a different location each year, which I really appreciate. It must be a nightmare to organize but it makes it a lot of fun as an attendee. RTC Europe also tries to hold the event at a historic venue. This year is was at Dublin Castle. Sure beats a generic hotel conference room.
One thing I really like about the conference is its small size. RTC Europe had a little more than 300 attendees and I feel like I talked to many of them. There were a number of attendees who I’ve followed for years. This event was a great opportunity to meet and talk with them in person. I even met some ArchSmarter readers, which was very cool.
My session on Revit macros was scheduled for the first day of the conference. It was a full room and a very hot room. By the end of the session, I was really sweating. HVAC issues aside, the session went well. I had a lot of good questions at the end and got some great feedback. A big thanks to those of you who attended.
If you haven’t been to an RTC conference, one thing to know is that the quality of the sessions and labs is really high. I’ve been using Revit on and off since 2003 so I often feel like I know it all. That said, Steven Shell taught me a bunch of things I didn’t know in his session on making Revit drawings look great. I also attended Harry Mattison’s class on the Revit API. I left that session eager to try my hand at incorporating events into my Revit macros. Greg Demchak and Jack Gray gave us a good inside look at their new Revit add-in, Color By Number. It was really interesting to hear their story on developing and marketing a Revit add-in. I also attended classes on Dynamo, Revit for large-scale residential towers and iOS app development. It was three days full of great topics and learning.
A big part of any RTC conference is the social events. Wesley Benn and the RTC organizers did a fantastic job selecting interesting venues and providing plenty of food and drink. Friday night’s event was held at the Guinness Storeroom. As you can imagine, plenty of Guinness was on tap. The Halloween festivities continued on into the night on Temple Bar.
Saturday’s dinner was at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, a former hospital turned contemporary art museum and banquet hall. After lots of food and a rousing drum performance, the night finished with dancing in the former chapel. Since I had to catch a flight back home at 6:30am the next day, I cut my night short. I heard later that the party carried on until early Sunday morning.
RTC Europe was a great experience. I learned a ton and met lots of cool, interesting people in an amazing setting. I only wish I had more time to explore Dublin. I’ll definitely be attending future RTC events. Hats off to Wesley Benn and the RTC organizers! Thank you for all your hard work. I’m looking forward to Budapest in 2015.