Things we learned at Autodesk University 2016 in Las Vegas

Autodesk University, Autodesk’s yearly user conference, is as popular as ever. There’s no disputing that. We haven’t seen the final attendance numbers for AU2016, but if the opening Keynote session by CEO Carl Bass on Tuesday November 15th is any indication, there were 10,000+ attendees (at least it felt that way to us).

First, the timing of the event was good.  In previous years, AU was after Thanksgiving. This year it was before the US Holiday. The outside temperature was a bit warmer than years past. So if you planned to spend any time outside of the Venetian, you weren’t going to be very cold this year.  AU2017 will also be mid-November.

Venetian Tower on November 15, 2016

Venetian Tower on November 15, 2016 with the rare Supermoon to the left


AU is Exhibitor-friendly. In years past we attended as regular attendees, there to learn all we can. This year we attended as exhibitors (Orange Blade Consultants – Booth 2923). The exhibition hall hours afforded the Orange Blade Consultants crew plenty of time to connect with our customers and introduce ourselves to future customers. We weren’t pulling 12-hours shifts in the booth, so “booth fatigue” wasn’t an issue for us at all. We were also fortunate that we didn’t have early morning booth hours. Night time networking events didn’t send us home to bed early. We were also given plenty of time to attend classes and network outside of the exhibit hall environment.

The food and drink was excellent. Autodesk University is not the place to count calories. AU is however, a place to win an Apple TV as Luis Rosas of CDM Smith found out at the Orange Blade Consultant’s booth. Congrats Luis!

Luis Rosas Wins Apple TV at Autodesk University 2016

Sarah Greene of OBC and Luis Rosas of CDM Smith


Event Registration from an exhibitor standpoint, was easy and organized. The event staff were super helpful and made sure we got in and got out ASAP.

In regard to our booth #2923, we found that very few attendees didn’t know what Bluebeam Revu was. Bluebeam Software Products have been around since 2002 when it was known as Bluebeam Pushbutton PDF (Anybody remember that?).  However, very few attendees knew that Bluebeam Software has a thriving/vibrant reseller channel.  Why is that a big deal?  Because you don’t have to pay retail pricing from Bluebeam Software any longer.  You can procure your Bluebeam Software, often times at a steep discount from any one of several Bluebeam Resellers throughout the world.

We found that the Surface Studio device may just turn out to be the “must have” device of 2017.  We still love our Surface Pro 4s for the portability and field work, but the Surface Studio should find its way into may design houses in the coming years.

Reconnecting with old friends.  We got to spend time with Jerry Milana, System Integration and Software Asset Management Consultant with Autodesk.  If you manage thousands of Autodesk Network Licenses, you may already know Jerry.  He’s the best of the best when it comes to network licensing.  His classes, which run every year at AU, are a must if your responsibilities include software asset management.  Jerry was an integral part of Orange Blade Consultants for a while.  Great to see him again.

Star Struck moment.  Lynn Allen is arguably the face of Autodesk.  She may not be the Autodesk CEO, but Lynn may just be the most recognizable person at Autodesk. She’s been the most popular personality in the Autodesk Community for as long as we can remember. If you’ve ever attended Autodesk Reseller Webinars, AutoCAD Tips and Tricks sessions, or AutoCAD based sessions at AU, then you know Lynn. She can connect with an audience like no other.  Check out her blog here. Needless to say we had to get a photo with her.

Things we learned at Autodesk University 2016 in Las Vegas

John, Lynn, and Mike


The band at the Autodesk Event on Wednesday was fantastic.  If you get a chance to see the Spazmatics play, do it, you won’t be sorry.  Seriously, they blew the roof off the Brooklyn Bowl at the Linq.  We left hoping they’d play all night……..but all good things must end.

The High Roller Ferris Wheel is a site to behold.  This attraction was also a part of the Wednesday night customer party.  We spent 35 minutes or so taking in some phenomenal views of Las Vegas.

High Roller Fun Facts: 

  • The 28 passenger cabins of the High Roller can hold 40 people each. That’s right, up to 1,120 people can be on the ride at any given time.
  • Each 225-square-foot cabin weighs approximately 44,000 pounds, has a diameter of 22 feet (6.7 m), includes 300 square feet (28 m2) of glass, and is equipped with eight flat-screen televisions and an iPod dock.
  • At night the wheel is illuminated by a 2,000-LED system which can display a single solid color, differently colored sections, multiple colors moving around the rim, and custom displays for special events and holidays.
Things we learned at Autodesk University 2016 in Las Vegas

High Roller – Las Vegas from within cabin

High Roller - Las Vegas

High Roller – Las Vegas from ground


The SWAG (Stuff We All Get) was good as always.  Check out the AU2016 Backpack that every attendee received at registration.

Autodesk University 2016 Backpack

Autodesk University 2016 Backpack


Who in their right mind would go to Las Vegas to run down the strip at 6am?  We would…….along with about 60 other early-morning AU peeps.  If you like to get your heart pumping before starting your business day, Shaan Hurley of Autodesk has been organizing a 5k run/walk along the Strip for those looking to escape the casino for some fresh air and exercise.  What better way to start your mornings in Las Vegas?  Thank you Shaan!  The Orange Blade Consultants Team can’t wait to do it again next year.

Autodesk University 5k

Autodesk University 5k – John, Mike, and Sarah of OBC in the front row  Photo Credit: Shaan Hurley


Shaan was able to carve out a 3.1 Mile path down the Las Vegas Strip to get the miles for a 5k run. The route took us up and down a few flights of stairs and thru a casino!

AU5k Route

AU5k Route



AU5K Winner Ribbon

AU5K Winner Ribbon


Global eTraining, it was great to connect with Shauna Snukst and Ryan Winterton from Global eTraining (based in Edmonton).  Orange Blade Consultants is in a unique position with the folks at GeT.  Not only are we a reseller of Global eTraining courses, we’re also the author of the Bluebeam Revu Fundamentals course.  That’s right, our own Joel Marquez is the voice and technical muscle behind the Bluebeam Course with Global eTraining.  Stay tuned for more Bluebeam Course titles in the future.

Global eTraining

Global eTraining







And Lastly, we can’t wait to come back for AU2017!


Save the Date:

Creating and Managing Digital Documents in Bluebeam Revu (March 29, 2019 at 2pm CST) - Register

Batch Tools in Bluebeam Revu eXtreme (April 30, 2019 at 2pm CST) - Register

XCON 2019 - August 26 – 28  |  Washington, DC.  1,000+ attendees, 536 Companies, 100+ hours of Education, 100+ AIA Approved Courses, 102 Customer Speakers