Entering the show floor
Autodesk is taking over Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for the week to stage Autodesk University. The event is mostly dedicated to training Autodesk’s customers in their wide array of products, particularly people interested in AutoCAD, Revit, and Inventor. In addition, there’s a trade show as well as keynote addresses and other special events that makes this more like a yearly Autodesk conference than just a week of training.
Over 5500 people found their way to Las Vegas this week for over 500 classes. An additional 20,000 will attend virtually. People started arriving on Monday for various related events, such as the developers conference, but the main conference started on Tuesday with the main keynote. Being Las Vegas, the keynote started with none other than Elvis Presley (or a reasonable facsimile) singing the disclaimers to the tune of “Glory Glory Hallelujah.” After that, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass took the stage and talked a bit about Autodesk’s future direction. A lot of this centered on the idea of the computing cloud, centralized high powered banks of servers controlled by remote workstations. Users would interface to this computing power by Autodesk software running not only on high-end workstations, but also net-enabled devices such as netbooks and iPhones.