Workshop Alchemy

By Phil Read

That’s a wrap. Another conference workshop took place last week in San Diego ahead of the 2020 Digital Built Week to be held at the San Diego Bayfront Hilton.  

We started the workshop by conducting a Launch Night sponsored by our friends at U.S. CAD. This gave an amazing number of local people, who have not had the chance to attend BILT or the rest of our events, a first-hand look at what the overall event would be like.

We received close to 400 abstracts submissions for this year’s conference across all four events. The North American committee arrived by Thursday evening to start the second round of reviews all together.

Considering that we only needed a bit over 100 sessions across all four events, we really had the work cut out for us. One thing that became immediately apparent is the amount of “jargon” in the BIM space. So, we’ve gone ahead and created this handy BINGO chart for this year’s conference.

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Generative design, machine learning, and AI (see the chart above!) were obviously a topic on the mind of the potential presenters and is obviously trending in the AEC space. We also noticed a number of abstracts related to training or mentoring, business strategy, and infrastructure-related topics. Here are some of the abstracts that we really liked, just to give you a teaser:

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  • Generative High-Performance Building Design for Indoor Daylight/PV Analysis
  • Skills Data and Training for Small- and Mid-Sized Firms
  • You promised WHAT? Speaking with Project Managers and Marketing About BIM

On day three the work continues in a more detailed fashion. We create a grid for the entire conference week with rows and columns for all the abstracts’ cards. This is the analog system designed by Desirée Mackey that allows us to see the whole conference at a glance while recording what’s been captured in digital form – Excel, photos, and more. 

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More detailed abstract selection follows to create a program that flows and hopefully gives everyone a session of interest for every track. We try to keep the heavier classes at the beginning of the day and the lighter session later in the day. And there’s still more room for discussion and debate.

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By the fourth day, the program really started to take shape with input from the leadership of DTS, Data Day and BCS. We think this year’s program is going to be the best it’s been and we can’t wait to share it all with you in a few weeks time!

See you in San Diego!

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