My Personal Observations from the 2014 Bentley LEARNing Conference - Dearborn, MI

I have been attending Bentley-related conferences since 1984 (back then the Intergraph IGUG).  In all these years I have seen these conferences evolve in format and content, some very effective, others, well not so much.

With that said, I just came back from the first of nine 2014 regional Bentley LEARning Conferences, this one held in Dearborn Michigan.  I rank it in my top 5 favorite conferences.  Why?

  1. Attendees were focused on learning (the intensity was palpable). Between sessions everyone moved with a purpose.  I think a lot of this was driven by their desire to get a good seat in the next workshop or lecture. While the workshops and lectures were in session, the hallways were nearly empty, a good sign the attendees were engaged!
  2.  Instructors were well prepared, the content engaging and to the point. In many instances, instructors not actively presenting helped out in other workshops.  A great deal of cooperation and it showed!
  3. Classrooms, especially the workshops, were PACKED to the point there were people queued up outside the door for several of them (that's something you don't see every day). See image below (not a unique case!)
  4. During the breakfasts and dinner the attendees were very complimentary about the event and were casually discussing topics covered in the day's classes. That's not to say they weren't talking about other things but they were conversing with everyone around the table (that is not always the case at any conference).
  5.  The number of attendees made it feel more like a super-sized user group meeting rather than a corporate event which has a much different vibe. Definitely more open discussion was heard at this meeting.

I'm not the expert on conferences, just someone that has managed to keep a perfect track record of attendance over the years.  I wanted to pass along my enthusiasm for this particular conference style as I feel it aligns well with our users' needs.

I hope this quick one person's perspective is of value to you as I feel strongly everyone should know about the upcoming conferences!


Frank Conforti

Bentley Colleague