RE: Elaine's RPUG idea

Date: Tue Aug 11 1998 - 09:59:21 EEST

....soapbox mode on.....

I think that this is exactly what we have now, three users groups, which
is stupid. Lots of wasted and duplicated effort. Of course you cannot
get good speakers at every event......too many of the same thing.

There seem to be a feeling on the RP-ML that machine-specific user group
meetings and SME-RPA conventions are not delivering what is expected.
Could that be because they are the same presenters at the same venues
speaking to the same participants about the same subjects? As my father
was fond of saying: "If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep
getting what you've got."

There is a lot of good information coming out of Europe and Asia (e.g.,
UV-curable silicone has been here for 18+ months, yet it was a "new
thing" at the SME-RPA show). And since the RPers here are mainly
captive machines and academics, there is a lot of research and sharing
of information, unlike the US. The international users group could
cover marketing issues, customer educational issues, etc,.etc. There
are a lot of issues the we outside of the US have to deal with on a
day-to-day basis that you take for granted. (E.g., hotline service from
the RP OEMs? That's all well and good, but they are only open from 11pm
until 8am my time!) How about customs issues? Shipping issues? Supplier
issues? There are may things of interest to the rest of the world ALONG
WITH the latest RP techno-stuff.

Do small US companies really care about international issues and wish to
break into an international market? If so, then maybe they have to pay
the price, or if not just stay home as there are many gatherings in the
US where the info they want will be disseminated.

As far as costs, the only real difference is a couple of extra travel
days. Airfare can be lower cost than a US transcontinental flight. The
last time I lived in the US, one could not fly from Detroit to LA for
less than 450-500 bucks. One can fly to SE Asia from the US for for
US$600-700 or from the UK for 275 quid. Everything else (food, lodging,
etc.) is half the cost here.

I guess the point is if you really want to make an international user's
group, make it worthwhile to international users. Why not rotate the
venue every year? Just calling it international just to be "politically
correct" is pointless, although very American.

OK, I'm off the soapbox now and donning my Nomex suit........

Dan Davis
PROTON Rapid Prototyping Center
Hicom Industrial Estate
Batu Tiga, PO Box 7100
Shah Alam, 40918 Selangor MALAYSIA
+60 3 515-2380 phone/fax

> -----Original Message----- > From: [] > Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 1998 11:47 AM > To: > Subject: RE: Elaine's RPUG idea > > If the event is held in Asia, then it will be very hard to convince > smaller > US RP firms to go. > > For example, I get Invitations to Speak at international seminars, but > the > time and cost involved in going mean a tough time to justify the cost > in > getting to the event, speaking, and then coming back. It is a lot of > dollars for a brief trip. If I go and combine the trip with a > vacation I > would have an even tougher time telling the IRS why I needed to go. > Perhaps > a easier choice would be to have 3 User Groups; Asia, Europe, > Americas. > > Just a humble thought. > > B. J. Arnold-Feret > > > >> I'll host such an event but before I jump into the fire..answer > these > >> questions. > >> > >> For the First International User Group Meeting tell me..... > >> Will you attend? how many others from your company? > >> best dates for you: > >> Participate (if so how) > >> Suggested topics? Special interest groups? What would you lead? > >> Could you find Clemson? > >> > Why not have it someplace other than the US if you really want an > "international" crowd? If it is held in the US, I'm sure that I speak > for most everyone here in Asia that we will not attend as costs to us > will be 50+% more expensive (example, a "Big Mac" here costs $4.20 in > local currency, same thing in America costs $12.63 in our local > currency!) > > That said, I'll arrange hosting it here in Malaysia, if I get some > support from the 3DNASUG as I have never hosted a large scale users > group (only small ones here in Asia). I think we can get discounted > airfare on Malaysian Air or Singapore Air (maybe around US$600 round > trip from LAX) and rooms at a 4-5 star hotel/country club/convention > center for US$60-70. Field trips to user sites in the area can be > arranged (there are 3 500's, several 250's and a 350 and Actua in the > Singapore/Kuala Lumpur/Penang area -- about a 3 hour driving radius). > > Any interest?

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