We had an action-packed day yesterday at Autodesk's 1 Market office for the launch of the Autodesk 2011 family of products.
The day kicked off with a webcast led by Carl Bass and Amar Hanspal, introducing AutoCAD 2011, Inventor 2011, Revit 2011, and 3ds Max 2011. Our bloggers were in the audience, along with other press and some of our channel partners.
Next up was an in-depth session on AutoCAD 2011 for the bloggers. Heidi Hewett and Guillermo Melantoni showed off the new 2D and 3D features, and there are a LOT of impressive things there. If you've been thinking about a move to 3D, this would be a good time to try. However, all these 3D features took up more time than anticipated (not that any of us really minded), so the AutoCAD family presenters (me for AutoCAD LT, Jeff Agla for AutoCAD Architecture, and Adam Perry for AutoCAD Mechanical) had about 5 minutes each to show off our product. I've been working for the last 2 years on slowing down my delivery speed during presentations, but that all went out the window yesterday. :-) Our bloggers are a smart bunch, though, and kept up with me just fine. I think they agree with me that LT has a really robust, yet easy-to-use feature set, but we'll have to see what they post in the next few weeks. The Windows 7 features especially got some oohs and aahs -- I'll have to post on that next week.
In the afternoon, the bloggers had a chance to talk as a group to Autodesk executives and the product team about the present and future state of the AutoCAD family, and then individually to members of the team during the first-ever "speed dating" session. I had the pleasure of chatting with Dean Saadallah (frequent contributor to the AutoCAD LT discussion forum) about learning, training, and support for AutoCAD LT. I think we're taking steps in the right direction, but there's still a lot that can be done. If you have feedback too, you know where to find me!
The day wrapped up with a reception in the Autodesk Gallery and dinner at a nearby restaurant. Overall, I think the day was very successful, and hope that we're able to continue this tradition for future releases.
A lot of the bloggers are also twitterers -- for the play-by-play from yesterday, check out the Twitter feeds from @caddmanager (Mark Kiker), @MistresDorkness (Melanie Perry), @wkfd (Curt Moreno), @thecadgeek (Donnie Gladfelter), @bcbenton (Brian Benton).