We love talking to our users — whether it’s over social media, on the community board, during a firm visit, or even during a 1-on-1 software demo. It helps us to discover what drives our users’ passion for design, how we can better help them succeed, and what they love most about our software. That’s why we decided to reward three lucky designers with a complimentary trip to attend the 2016 Vectorworks Design Summit in Chicago for simply engaging with us on social media.
Since their trip to the Windy City in April, we’ve been eager to explore their top takeaways from the event and learn about their next steps within the world of design. Let’s explore what our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook winners had to say about the conference.
Our Instagram Winner: Jonas Witte of Berlin, Germany
For Jonas Witte, a grad student at Erfurt University of Applied Sciences who will finish his degree in August, this trip was not only a perfectly timed networking event but also an invaluable opportunity to further improve his already awe-inspiring rendering skills. As such, two of his favorite Summit sessions were naturally “Rendering for Success” and “Rendering Tips, Tricks, and Other Cool Stuff.”
One of Witte’s most exciting discoveries at the Summit was Energos, the powerful, integrated tool in Vectorworks software that gives real-time feedback on a design’s energy efficiency. “Discovering Energos will prove very useful for my future design career,” Witte says. “It’s a great tool for even beginner students to learn how to master sustainable design.”
While there were obvious workflow and networking benefits to his attendance, it was also an important experience for him as it was both his first time in the United States and his first flight ever!
Currently, Witte works for the office of Architekturbüro Ebersberger in Erfurt and hopes to continue working there after his graduation. In the future, Witte dreams of setting up his own architecture office in Switzerland or Austria near the Swiss Alps, which inspire his designs.
Our Twitter Winner: Mitchell Elliott of Alberta, Canada
As a long-time Vectorworks software user, Elliott was beyond thrilled to attend the Summit. He operates as a solo-practitioner, so he admits that one of the major benefits of attending was the opportunity to see how others are using the software and pick up new tricks from their workflows.
“Once an office develops standards for their design practice, everyone falls into step and new aspects of the software can be ignored,” Elliott said. “Attending the Summit allowed me to look over the shoulders of other users and discover several new approaches to using the software.”
Elliott comically referred to himself as an “old dog” eager to learn some new tricks in his entry tweet, which proved to be true. When asked about the most valuable thing he learned at the Summit, Elliott said, “There isn’t just one answer. I learned a number of things that are useful at different stages of a project. At the moment, one of my favorite things I picked up is that you can right click for the contextual menu, then click ‘Create Similar Object,’ which has been a very nice timesaver.”
The most surprising benefit of attending the Summit, Elliot claims, was the ability to explore the Art Institute of Chicago during the Customer Appreciation Party. After all, what originally drove Elliott to become a designer was his fascination with all aspects of building and construction, so he appreciated the museum’s stunning design and plethora of inspirational art.
In the future, he hopes to start incorporating Passive House standards into his projects with the help of Energos as he thinks “energy efficiency is going to be an increasingly important component in future projects.”
Our Facebook Winner: Amanda Warren of Nacogdoches, Texas
As a recent Stephen F. Austin State University theatre design graduate, Warren was set to begin her professional career at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine on the electrics crew in early May. Her preparations for the big move from Texas to Maine were underway when she found out she would be attending the Summit, a perfectly timed precursor the week before beginning her post-graduate life.
While Warren says she won’t stop chasing her dream of working in lighting design, she confessed her favorite part of the Summit was the wide variety of sessions offered. “I was astonished by the vast amount of things Vectorworks software is capable of, both within the theatre design industry and outside of it, such as architectural work.”
Otherwise, she particularly favored the entertainment design sessions, as well as the fact that there was always something going on and always something to learn.
One thing she wasn’t expecting was getting to meet the “father” of Vectorworks Spotlight software, our Product Marketing Manager – Entertainment Frank Brault.
In the future, Warren hopes to continue building on her experience in the entertainment industry and eventually become a professor. “I believe being able to inspire someone and give them opportunities to grow is an invaluable gift,” she says.
As a recent graduate, Warren also had some great advice for young designers, “Don't be afraid to go for it! The worst-case scenario is that someone says no, and then you just move on,” Warren says. “That's how I found myself in the wonderful situation of attending the Vectorworks Design Summit!”
We hope you’re not too upset that you didn’t win a free Vectorworks Design Summit trip, but there’s always another giveaway coming. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so you don’t miss out on other awesome freebies.
P.S. If you’re looking for some time in the limelight, we also love featuring our users’ designs to reward them for engaging with us! For a chance to get your work highlighted, use #VectorworksFeatureMe in your next social media post.