I honestly had no idea what to expect of 3DEXPERIENCE World. As a first-time goer I imagined the world-renowned conference would be a ‘smorgasbord’ of brand-new engineering solutions and life-changing inventions. While those are indeed hallmark characteristics, no one truly prepared me for the moments of true connection I’d experience for the first time.
Living in Nashville gave me a significant leg up because I’d visited the venue a few times (still, I wasn’t quite aware of just how massive the Music City Center was until I explored nearly every square inch at 3DEXPERIENCE World)! Occasionally I’ll leave Gibson HQ to explore the downtown area, but I tend avoid the nightlife and Broadway as much as possible. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying “Bash on Broadway” as thousands of us explored the local offerings. I felt a great sense of pride as my newfound community celebrated through the evening. Seeing a few of the leadership team members stroll around in cowboy hats was a cherry on top! I’m so thankful Nashville was chosen to host 3DEXPERIENCE World this year.
The first day or two of the event, I was overwhelmed with events, classes, exhibits, and social encounters. My local friend Jeremiah – PDM Admin for Tesla – thankfully came to my rescue. In the days leading up to the conference he gave me a full rundown of what to expect, and then introduced me to several wonderful friends. Every seasoned 3DEXPERIENCE World attendee I met was incredibly kind, inviting, and welcoming. I had the sense that these community leaders were eager to share and assist newcomers as much as possible. I gradually began settling into this community’s niche.
The advice “you won’t be able to go to every class you signed up for” somehow gave me more momentum to prove I could. The first day I set off to attend every class I scheduled…and quickly realized it wasn’t possible. I knew several sessions would be uploaded digitally, so I shifted gears to focus on keeping a good but manageable pace and staying flexible. Of the classes I was able to attend and the sessions I accessed online, everything I learned had an immediate positive effect on my current workflow with Gibson.
The exhibits & featured spokespersons I saw were incredible! I was thrilled to speak to the founder & creator of ExoSapien Technologies, Jonathan Tippett, whose company featured a giant mech-suit in the main hall. I also took away tons of inspiration from Erin Winick Anthony & her work featured in the Makerspace area. One of my favorite booths showcased several compliant mechanisms hosted by the Flexible Research Group at UCLA (led by Jonathan Hopkins).
All in all, the most impactful memories I have are of those I shared with the people I met. Attending 3DEXPERIENCE World wasn’t simply a networking exercise for me. Often in our isolated little bubbles we do forget other people have similar shared experiences, and choosing to connect with others in our community yields far greater results than we could ever accomplish on our own. I saw, for the first time, how POWERFUL even small moments of connection are. Everywhere, at nearly every moment, I witnessed brainstorming, individual breakthroughs, troubleshooting (for free!), future goal setting, etc. All of us are passionate about what we do, and when we combine our forces, we have the potential to make great waves of positive change in our lives. Throughout my time at 3DEXPERIENCE World I felt motivated, encouraged, and fulfilled.
3DEXPERIENCE World creates a space for all of us to come together and tap into the seemingly limitless power we have as a group. I personally believe attending 3DEXPERIENCE World should be a top priority for all who want to stay relevant, informed, engaged, and driven to grow. The following are my tips and tricks for making the most of the event.
Kara’s Tips & Tricks:
- Plan ahead
- Stay flexible.
- Stay hydrated.
- Pace yourself.
- Be eager to learn from others.
- Bring supports (noise-cancelling earbuds or headphones).
- Prioritize valuable connections. Don’t give out your contact info to everyone you run across.
- Be confident in your story.
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