For the past few months I’ve been talking about our user meetings – the Mechanical Analysis Division User2User meetings which are taking place all over the world.
I just came back from the meeting in Germany and I can quite honestly say that it was one of the most energizing meetings I’ve attended in a long time. This was a meeting of “firsts”: the first time we as Mentor Graphics held a user meeting in Germany, the first time we met with a group of our customers in a non-sales environment and the first time we got a chance to seek “no holds barred” feedback from customers. So I wasn’t really sure what to expect — all I knew was the anticipation was killing me.
Upon arrival Germany greeted us with sunny skies and lovely warm temperatures. We took that as a sign that the meeting was also going to be a warm one and we weren’t mistaken. The venue was a charming place built on the site of an old castle in Friedewald Germany – we even got a chance to explore the grounds during the off hours. Over the course of the three days our agenda consisted of a mix of technical content provided by our staff on various topics relating to FloTHERM, FloEFD and T3Ster and application stories provided by our customers such as Dr. Lautenschlager, Mr. Riebel, Mr. Benze and Mr. Windischmann. I know our products are very flexible tools but I am still astounded whenever I hear how they are used to solve complex problems in products that we as consumers use on a daily basis and quite often take for granted.
But the meeting wasn’t all hard work. We also got a chance to go on a very educational tour of a salt mine. At the lowest point, we were 800 meters below sea level driving at what felt like mach speed thru tunnels barely wide enough for our trucks. The climax of the tour was a grotto deep in the belly of the earth where salt crystals took on the look of jewels put on display. Who knew that good ol’ common table salt could be so beautiful. Absolutely breathtaking.
It has now been a few days since we have all returned back to work and if there’s one thing that has stayed with me is this. By the end of the three days we were no longer a group of polite strangers who were attending a technical conference. We were friends and colleagues sharing laughs and experiences. Mind you there was no exchange of proprietary information — we were simply enjoying learning from one another. And I’m willing to bet that the next meeting will be even more fantastic because we now all know what to expect.
If you like the sound of this type of meeting, then I strongly urge you to register for your regional Mechanical U2U event next year. It really is a great opportunity to learn lots of new things and make a few new friends.
As for me, what did I learn? I learned that we have some fantastically smart engineers as end-users and I for one can’t wait to catch-up with each and every one of them at the next meeting. Team Germany, thank you for making this meeting such a huge success. See you next time!
Until next time,