SolidWorks World 2011 (Day 1) – Conversation With Matt West

This year SolidWorks World 2011 is being held in San Antonio, Texas, and like last year I am attending as press. SolidWorks has paid for my conference fees, airfare and hotel accommodation and among other things, has set up a range of interviews with their executives. Today I sat down with Matt West, Social Media Manager.

One of the walls of the press room had a notice board with the mug shots of all the members of the press and the executives they were going to meet over the next four days. I was quite amused to see this.

I asked Matt what exactly was this SolidWorks blog corps and how someone became a member. He replied that a while ago someone started referring to a bunch of SolidWorks bloggers as the “blog squad”. Looks like the word “squad” has given way to “corps” and I have been enrolled as a member. πŸ˜‰

As regards how someone can join the SolidWorks blog corps, Matt said that the person needed to write a lot and get an audience. I remember when Matt invited me to SolidWorks World last year I submitted my web site statistics for his review. The same goes with magazines as well. SolidWorks studies their readership and circulation before inviting them to events like SolidWorks World. By the way, you do not necessarily need to have a blog or a publication to be invited as press. For example, this year Charles Culp, a Design Engineer from Essex Industries, was invited as press due to his activity on the SolidWorks forums.

This year Michael Lord from Sydney, Australia, won the SolidWorks World 2011 Internet Correspondent contest and got an all expense paid trip to SolidWorks World to cover the event on his blog. The contest was a simple one. Aspiring internet correspondents needed to simply say why they thought SolidWorks should select them to be an internet correspondent and were judged by their replies.

I asked Matt whether he had noticed a decrease in content from the SolidWorks bloggers. He replied that he did and attributed it to a lack of time due to the tough economic situation. “People have to work longer hours and take more work home these days“, he said.