I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Western Winter Workshop in Indian Wells, CA earlier this month. This year’s event was presented jointly by the AACEI San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California sections. It was my first event after many, many attempts to participate in prior workshops. Naturally, something always got in the way—work, family, vacations, etc.—but not this time.
I was even able to carve out one day to participate in the BMW Performance Driving School in nearby Thermal, CA. Oracle sponsored the event for about 100 participants. I met a number of great people, had a grand time (nothing like legally driving M cars angry), and made some new friends. I highly recommend it if you find yourself in the Palm Springs area. Unfortunately, now I want one.
Photo Courtesy of BMC Performance Driving School
The facilities and staff at the Hyatt Regency were exceptional. I talked with many attendees who brought their families along (including one from Nigeria) and made it a mini-vacation.
Photo Courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa
Approximately 250 attendees spent two and a half days in various group sessions and workshops. We had excellent sessions from local public agencies such as the Caltrans, LA Metro, California High Speed Rail Program, along with presentations from leading vendors, including Autodesk and Oracle. I had a full house in my session on Total Cost Management – The Synergy between Cost Estimating, Project Controls, and Benchmarking. Many thanks to those who attended. I’m following up as fast as I can with everyone who provided their business cards after the session. For those that want to learn more, we’re hosting a Total Cost Management webinar on March 25, 2016 at 9:00am CST. To register, please click the link below.
This event reminded me of the AACEI annual conferences I attended in the early ‘90s, both in terms of the number of attendees and exhibitors. It’s a smaller, more intimate group vs. the annual conference with most of the attendees coming from points west of the Rockies. I got the impression that many would not make it to the annual conference in Toronto due to travel constraints (limited travel outside of the US) and a growing trend of corporations not funding their employees’ participation in these events. It’s concerning how many I met who were paying their own way.
My thanks to John Haynes, Mark Leffern, and the rest of the staff for all their assistance and organizational efforts. They made it such a great event that I plan to return to the 2017 Western Winter Workshop. I hope to see you there.
By Nick Papadopoulos