I waited a few weeks before posting anything else on AU for a few reasons. The largest reason was that I've been busy! (We're (still) closing out our largest Revit project yet, so there is so much to keep track of and coordinate.) Second, though, is that I was thinking that some time would help me clarify why I left AU so disappointed.
I met some amazing people at AU. I also took some phenomenal classes (my favorites were the few of Robert Green's CAD management classes I took). If I met who I met and learned what I learned in the course of a regular week, I would be pretty happy. So why was I not happy with the same results at AU?
1. AU is over hyped. Autodesk, I know you're a skilled marketing machine, but just stop.
2. The General Session wasn't so great. I refuse to be distracted by techno, flashing lights and a panorama of screens. It was cool, but the content was missing. I was promised a vision for the future. There was no vision. As it was later pointed out to me, Autodesk isn't really at the point where it can lay out a vision; they have just acquired quite a few products and need to spend some time making things work together. (Although, I think that would be enough of a vision for Autodesk for me).
3. The classes and the instructors were falsely advertised. Next year, Autodesk should have instructors take a test that will categorize their level of industry, presentation and software experience. The score of each instructor should be posted in the description of all classes they are teaching. Attendees should also have to take similar tests, so that they know where they stand and which classes might be a good match for them.
4. I saw a lot of unrealized potential. Because I have coordinated (and continue to coordinate) BIMForum conferences (granted for 100, not 10,000), I notice the little things at other conferences. AU was so close, but there was something a little off. Bigger is not better.
5. Speaking of BIMForum, I can't forget to mention it. I would be willing to say that the 100 BIMForum attendees (including the beginners who sneak in the door) are doing more innovation with technology and process than the 10,000 AU attendees. They are also sharing more.
For next year, there are a few BIMForum members talking about submitting some real VDC use cases and presentations - no more 'I like BIM. BIM is good' presentations. If I decide to go again, it will be join them in presenting.