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BILT NA 2017 - week of reflection

For my last BILT NA 2017 blog, I give my top 5 reasons why I enjoy the conference (now that I’ve had a week to reflect) and why you might want to look into going next year.

  1. Traveling - The conference is an opportunity to get out and travel. Downtown Chicago is breathtaking, a modern city with historical context. Phoenix's heat is unreal! I was warned about the heat; it’s like sucking on a blow dryer on high with my head in the oven. Despite that, the plant life is beautiful and was well worth the walk. Toronto had a festival of some sort happening so buskers were all around downtown. I think my favorite was the singing puppets.
  1. Networking - I had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people; all of them are enthusiastic about what they do and the knowledge they can share with others. I was even able to recruit people for presentations to our local BIM discussion group.
  1. Learning - The sessions covered a wide range of topics such as BIM managers, using Revit for landscape, Revit plug-ins, and much more. Attending sessions outside my direct interest was where I learned the most, giving me a better understanding of what my consultants need from me.
  1. Eating - You can try new foods. People from the United States learnt about poutine (gravy, French fries and cheese) and Tim Horton’s coffee shops (yes, they really are everywhere, like Starbucks in the USA).
  1. Problem solving - I serve on the standards committee at work. We struggle, like many firms, on how to track and implement changes to the standards. BILT NA was a great place to talk to other firms on how they tackle problems like this. For example, one participant told me about how they use Newforma to track changes and receive requests from co-workers.

Figuring out what to share and when to share is the hardest part of returning from any conference. One warning is, don't get stuck in the knowledge silo (learning and not sharing). The best way for me to share what I've learned is to break it down into categories:

  • What information would my co-workers/firm benefit from?
  • What is helpful for the standards committee?
  • Based on what I’ve learned, what are the practices, processes or procedures that I could implement at my firm?”.

If you have questions, feel free to comment or email me directly. I love sharing what I’ve learned.


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