Every COFES attendee is assigned a host, basically a COFES representative who helps you around and introduces you to the people you want to meet. For first timers like me a host is critical. I met up with my host Shyamal Roy, CEO of GEOMATE, and he introduced me to a quite a few people.
One of the first people I met was Mike Payne, CEO of SpaceClaim. I stood a safe distance from him, fearing that he would swing a fist at me for all the stuff that I have been writing about him and SpaceClaim on this blog. As it turned out, our short meeting was without incident.
Later in the day, I had the opportunity to shake the hand of Bob McNeel. I admire this guy for his vision. At SYCODE, we use McNeel’s free OpenNURBS Toolkit a lot in our products. In my opinion, McNeel is one of the very few CAD vendors who have got it right. Their approach to interoperability and resistance to switching to the software subscription model are what makes them stand out. I hope to bump into him again.
I also had a nice long talk with Paul Grayson, the founder of Alibre. I was looking forward to meeting Greg Milliken, the CEO of Alibre, but he could not make it to COFES this year. From what I gather, Alibre is planning some interesting things to go with their “Personal CAD” marketing strategy, one of which is Alibre CAM Express released just yesterday.
I also met Joel Orr minus his 24 grandchildren and Brad Holtz, the man behind COFES. Interesting people. Rachael Dalton-Taggart was instrumental in getting me to COFES and I finally got to meet her as well.
A word of caution to my fellow bloggers. Think twice before criticizing Evan Yares. This guy is huge and you don’t want to piss him off. I am 6 feet tall but Evan was towering over me when I shook his hand this evening. You have been warned.