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Jun 30, 2014

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Jon Banquer

When CADCAM users start calling out this corrupt system for what it is and reject slick ad based CADCAM magazines, advertising driven CADCAM web forums, paid off so called CADCAM "industry analysts" and worthless CADCAM fanboi fog blogs (that get special treatment from CADCAM companies) then, and only then, will the CADCAM business finally get better.

Jon Banquer
CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn.

Nancy Johnson, Cadalyst

Ahh, Roopinder, such a disservice you have done to the CAD market and those of us who cover it. I would like to share another perspective -- mine -- because readers of this blog deserve a more balanced explanation.

Much of the event coverage done by CAD editors, bloggers, etc. is subsidized by CAD vendors, yes -- but not all. Many publications do have travel budgets and fund a good portion of these trips; often the event organizer (vendor) pays for hotel and some meals but not always airfare, ground transportation, and other incidental expenses. I realize some writers and bloggers insist on full funding before they'll accept an invitation (because they cannot afford to attend otherwise), but this is not true across the board. At Cadalyst, if the event is worth covering in our editorial opinion, then we attend, and we pay whatever expenses are necessary to do so. If the event isn't relevant, we don't go. Last year, I attended a vendor-sponsored conference overseas; it was my first time invited and I had every reason to believe it would be relevant to Cadalyst readers. It wasn't relevant enough, unfortunately, so I won't accept the invitation if it comes again this year.

Covering industry events is exhausting and takes us away from the office and our families. Many of us arrive at the last minute, work 12- to 16-hour days during the event, then fly home the minute it ends. We do it because it's our job to stay connected with the people, companies, and products that make up the CAD community -- and we believe our readers want to know what happens at events they cannot attend themselves. I feel fortunate to have visited some amazing places in the course of my work, and I am grateful when vendors help with travel expenses, but I don't cover any event because it's a "free trip."

Normand C.

Was there any proofreading done on this post?!? Under "Rules for Free Tips" it reads "There are could be many who strive" and that's just a single example.

This seriously lacks professionalism.

Bill Fane

Roopinder and Nancy both make valid comments. As a part-time freelance writer there is no way that I can justify attending a media event unless someone else picks up the tab.

I have found that almost all of these events follow s standard script.

1. Welcomed by the company CEO or other senior executive, who emphasizes that their number one priority is to listen to and respond to their users.

2. Sales/marketing brag about how much their sales and market penetration have grown, and predictions of their future growth. After attending a few such events a simple extrapolation shows that in 4.73 years every CAD company will have 138.7% market share.

3.Presentations by several customers who emphasize that it would have been impossible to design and manufacture their current widget without the host's software. On the other hand, I'm so old that I remember that the 747 and the moon rockets were designed with paper, pencil, and slide rules.

4.We get to see what's new in the next release.

In my product reviews I try to focus on item 4 without passing too much judgment. What's good for one user isn't always of interest to another. I've been accused of not presenting a full, balanced report on the entire software package, including existing features, but the reality is that a new release typically includes about 250 new or revised features that I have to cover in about 1,000 words.

Having said all that, I've had a lot of fun as a CAD journalist. I live in Vancouver, CAD companies have taken me to Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Dallas, and Tualatin, Oregon. I've lost track of how many times I've been to Las Vegas. I've met Mario Andretti and James Cameron.

The all-time big score, however, was 2010 when a computer company whose name I won't mention (but their initials are hp) took David Cohn and I to the Indy 500. We had "hot" passes, which meant that for three days we were members of Gil de Ferran's pit crew. We had the same passes as the guys who went over the wall to change tires during the race. We were on the other side of the wall. We also had media passes which gave us access to even more locations. Died and gone to heaven...

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