The inaugural ARCHICAD by the Beach event was held by BIM6x, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, from October 28 - November 4, 2018. A contingency of 63 people converged on the gorgeous Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas for the highly anticipated event.
Half of the concept was to bring passionate ARCHICAD users together to be taught by some of the best ARCHICAD experts in the world, including representatives from GRAPHISOFT HQ in Budapest. 10 trainers delivered 24 hours worth of engaging and highly informative presentations, complete with example files, slideshows, and video recordings for attendees to take with them. Additionally, the resoundingly popular ARCHICAD Concierge sessions gave attendees the opportunity to have their questions answered by the trainers of their choice with one-on-one sessions throughout the week.
The other half of the concept behind ARCHICAD by the Beach was to gather in a gorgeous location. Cabo San Lucas boasts tropical weather and attendees were treated to beautiful sunny days and clear warm evenings. The Riu Palace is an all-inclusive resort, so everyone put their wallets and purses away, and enjoyed the 6 restaurants, 7 bars and all the amenities the resort had to offer. The four sparkling pools and ocean swimming seemed to be the most popular! Plus the event was peppered with social events such as a tour to a nearby Authentic Mexican town and a sunset cruise on the final night, so there was plenty of activities to keep the attendees as busy as they wanted to be.
Day 1 / Sunday.
Attendees arrived from all over the country. Tired but excited. The hotel staff introduced the resort and all the many amenities and fun activities available to the attendees at the Welcome Reception. People loved the fact that as an all-inclusive resort they could put their wallets away for the week and enjoy drinks and food anytime without worry. Event MC Chris Clark introduced all the trainers, attendees and guests, providing interesting and fun facts about everyone. After drinks and canapes, and meeting new friends, everyone chose the restaurant of their choice (of which there are 6 in the resort) for dinner.
Day 2 / Monday.
Enzyme’s own Eugenio Fontan kicked off ARCHICAD by the Beach presentations with an amazing and motivational keynote address emphasizing the two sides of their Hong Kong based business, which make it so successful. The ‘Know How Value’ of embracing technology and using it to create ‘Real Architecture,’ on every scale and type of project. This 90 minute address was very well received, leaving attendees impressed and inspired. Next, GRAPHISOFT HQ’s very own Márta Molnár provided great insight into Stair & Railings. Over two engaging sessions, she shared all her top tips and tricks to master these tools. After a comprehensive overview, followed by some real-life examples that everyone could relate to, a collective sigh of relief could be felt as attendees finally had them put into perspective.
The afternoon consisted of 30-minute, private ARCHICAD Concierge sessions on the balcony of the San Jose specialty restaurant, overlooking the Sea of Cortez and the iconic Land’s End. Trainers and attendees enjoyed refreshing beverages and one-on-one sessions, answering business or project specific ARCHICAD questions. The mix of receiving such high quality expert training in such a gorgeous beachside setting with the warm tropical breeze was truly a fantastic experience.
Many attendees took the opportunity to take a quick dip in the ocean or sidle up to the pool bar and relax for an hour or so, before again enjoying the restaurant of their choice.
Day 3 / Tuesday.
After a delicious breakfast on the deck of the Mar de Cortés restaurant, attendees once again gathered in the Pacifico meeting room to learn from Riverstone Structural Concept’s own Jake Timmons. Jake, a structural engineer at Riverstone gave an entertaining presentation and not only showed how easy and intuitive it is to work with ARCHICAD specific engineers, but also provided insight into how they streamline their processes, revealing many of their secrets and even sharing their templates exclusively with attendees. Jake showed real-time teamworking processes with his co-workers back in Boise, Idaho and also provided insight into how they utilize Bluebeam. Attendees seemed happily surprised with the level of expertise offered by an engineer!
Following the break, attendees were graced with an information packed, yet not overwhelming presentation on understanding and mastering Cinerender, by Ákos Karóczkai also from GRAPHISOFT HQ in Budapest. Ákos eased into his presentation with an overall understanding of the different aspects of ARCHICAD that contribute to creating good renderings. After the break he dug a little deeper into what critical settings do to resolve issues and improve the final outcome.
After lunch, attendees took the opportunity to show off their own work with short presentations. Everyone enjoyed seeing the diverse project types and presentation styles from Richard LaPrarie, Andrew Passacantando, Mark Elster, Robert Fuchs, and the staff from Resin Architecture. This was followed up by a fun and short quiz by Chris & Link bringing out the competitive nature of attendees with Graham Whipple taking home first prize.
The remainder of the day was spent traveling in air conditioned coach comfort up to Todos Santos, an authentic Mexican town about an hour north that has great little galleries and shops. With a short stop at a rug & blanket factory along the way, the buses pulled into town with enough time to do a spot of shopping before arriving at the gorgeous Los Adobes restaurant with its beautiful desert garden setting. Cocktails and drinks were enjoyed before sitting down for a relaxed but festive and authentic Mexican dinner. Attendees arrived back at the resort just after 10pm to rest before another big day.
Day 4 / Wednesday.
ARCHICAD Concierge sessions kicked off after breakfast at 8am for those eager enough to get up early and learn.
Later in the morning guest speaker, Ken Adler from KA DesignWorks showed attendees how his Basalt based firm uses point clouds, Matterport and virtual reality in their architectural workflow.
After lunch Chuck Kottka shared his extensive knowledge on ARCHICAD & BIM Management from his years of experience as a BIM Manager at one of the USA’s largest ARCHICAD firms.
The final session of the day was Object Making without GDL by GDL guru James Murray. This entertaining and engaging presentation educated attendees on library management, object making and he even snuck in a little GDL to show attendees that it’s not so scary after all.
The evening was open for attendees to relax and enjoy the resort facilities. Some went for a quick dip in the ocean, some played water volleyball and some enjoyed the Dia de los Muertos festivities at the theater, put on by the resort entertainment group. The most daring bunch went to the pool party at the neighboring RIU Santa Fe Resort and danced ‘til the wee hours!
Day 5 / Thursday
Sessions began with a great remote presentation by Monte Chapin from GRAPHISOFT. Monte showed trends in the AEC industry and how to best implement ARCHICAD into your business. This was followed up by Chris Clark & Link Ellis from BIM6x presenting many of the new features of ARCHICAD 21 & 22. The days training session concluded just before lunch with Link showcasing the power of a pre-linked template system, providing an intensive session of tips and tricks on the most important aspects of building one. After lunch the ARCHICAD Concierge sessions continued for those searching for more one-on-one training.
Many attendees formed groups and enjoyed dinner at the resort’s specialty Indian, Japanese, French, Italian and Steakhouse restaurants before enjoying nightcaps at the La Ventana bar and calling it a day.
Day 6 / Friday
The morning began with Ákos Karóczkai’s 90 minute presentation on Conceptual Design using Rhino & Grasshopper. Delivered in a very approachable way, Ákos first showed the power of combining these applications with ARCHICAD, then demonstrated techniques that can be used in simpler, more relatable scenarios. This gave attendees ideas that they could take back to their offices and immediately implement.
After the break, Márta Molnár took to the main stage again this time presenting Expressions to Automate Data Extraction. Like Ákos, Márta started off showing the potential of what expressions can do, then gave real-life examples of how to create expressions to complete tasks attendees would find valuable.
Márta’s presentation was followed up by a brief but powerful remote presentation by John Hallgarth from 3D Constructor on streamlining the workflow between ARCHICAD and Excel. John gave step-by-step instructions on creating a link between the two programs so that changes in the model data in ARCHICAD were updated with the click of a button in Excel, where the information could be better analyzed and represented.
Following another short break, Chris Clark and Link Ellis gave a 60 minute presentation on ARCHICAD’s Best Time-Tested Tips & Tricks, which conjured up oohs, ahhs, even high fives and laughter from the audience.
To make sure nothing was missed a Roundtable discussion between all attendees and trainers was held after lunch. This discussion turned its attention towards the GRAPHISOFT representatives who provided a lot of great insight while keeping their secrets safe enough to make attendees and trainers alike, look forward to future versions of ARCHICAD!
The final session was a 60 minute free-for-all ARCHICAD Concierge session, where attendees asked their final questions to the trainers of their choice.
To cap the event, everyone got on coaches and headed to the Marina, where they boarded the 75 foot luxury catamaran, the Cabo Wave for a sunset Dinner Cruise. The vessel departed from the marina and coasted along Land’s End, stopping for a photo opportunity at the Arch of Cabo San Lucas and the surrounding rocks with their seal colony. Then it headed out to the Pacific Ocean and north along the coast where cocktails were followed by a fresh and authentic hot fajita dinner in the ship’s dining room, followed by dancing on the deck.
Upon return to the resort, guests headed down to the Beach Club Bar for the final wrap up presentation by Chris & Link. All trainers were awarded their ARCHICAD Mexican number plates and an entertaining musical slideshow was presented on the big screen, to lots of laughter and rounds of applause.
Day 7 / Saturday
This ‘free day’ saw guests venture out in their own groups to enjoy the many attractions and excursions Cabo has to offer. Some played golf, some went marlin fishing, others went snorkeling, parasailing, or scenic driving. Some even just laid by the resort pool to relax. It was a great way to recover from the week and get in some fun vacay time for all!
Day 8 / Sunday
Full of knowledge and overdosed on fun, attendees and trainers each headed for the airport to return home. Based on their survey feedback, all expectations were exceeded and many hope to attend future events.
While the idea behind ARCHICAD by the Beach is to provide an intimate VIP experience, BIM6x will cap the next event at 100 people. Due to an overwhelmingly positive response to the first ARCHICAD by the Beach, coupled with the fact that BIM6x can provide a longer lead-time for the next event, it is expected to sell out quickly.