Blog Menu

Why Attend COFES?

April 27, 2005

Filed under: event — Terry Wohlers @ 09:17

COFES2005 was held April 14-17 at the beautiful Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. (COFES stands for the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software.) Each year, the event concentrates mostly on design and product lifecycle management (PLM) problems and solutions, although it also covers related subjects. This year, it included discussions on topics such as multidisciplinary tools, supply chains, project portfolio management, Six Sigma, and customer buying decisions, as well as perspectives from Wall Street.

An analyst briefing was held on the future of 3D printing and rapid manufacturing—a subject that has not been covered in the past. At COFES, an analyst briefing is an informal session that takes place in a hotel suite. The host is asked to give 5-10 minutes of opening comments to launch a discussion centered on the subject. PowerPoint presentations are not allowed. With the aid of some interesting example parts that were passed around, it didn’t take long for the group to begin thinking and talking about where this fascinating technology is headed. The questions, answers, and observations were interesting and lively and it really could not have gone much better.

COFES is held at the busiest time of the year (for Wohlers Associates), so it’s difficult to break away for 2-3 days in April. However, it was absolutely worth it again this year and I recommend it highly. If you want to rub elbows with the Who’s Who of the CAD/CAM/CAE/PLM industry, COFES is the place to be. Many of the industry’s most prominent pioneers, luminaries, analysts, and consultants attend. Suits or ties are not allowed and shorts and sandals are encouraged. At this year’s event, the informal and relaxed setting once again promoted the kind of interactions that led to exploring a wealth of new ideas and business opportunities. It was a privilege to attend and I look forward to next year’s event.