The Veteran's Guide to Autodesk University

Last week, we posted a Newbie's Guide to Autodesk University. This week, we want to point out some things about Autodesk University (AU) and Las Vegas that even conference veterans can appreciate.

Don't forget the power of the concierge

I'm quite sure I don't use the concierge services at hotels to their full advantage, but I do use them nearly every day for one thing: holding bags. Let's say you're at the conference and you have your laptop, but you’re headed to dinner. Sure, you could head up to your room and drop it off. But given the scale of the Venetian, you could be walking for days to get to your room. The answer: Drop it off at the concierge. The concierge will take any bag, jacket, purse, or piece of luggage; you don't even need to be a guest at the hotel. It'll cost you a buck or two in tip, but your bags will be in good hands. In fact, they'll be sent downstairs on a conveyor belt and put away in a storage room – easily worth a couple bucks.

What's slightly cheaper than the mini bar in the room?

Did you know there's a Whole Foods in Las Vegas? It's in a nice shopping center not far from the airport and we happened upon it on a previous trip. If you're stuck at AU, do you know how appetizing a nice piece of fruit looks, even if you have to pay $4 for it? Seriously, making a Whole Foods run for some coconut water, fruit, and Clif Bars is a great idea. It can almost make you feel human after three days in Vegas.

Only in Vegas...

The great majority of AU attendees are from the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. Did you know that there's an AEC-specific amusement in Vegas? Check this out.


They say that Vegas has been built by people practicing bad math... Gambling. If you're going to gamble, you may as well do it right. Our favorite game is blackjack, so here are some tips:

1. Read up on some blackjack myths.

2. Get yourself one of these blackjack strategy charts to follow, so you can minimize the house edge. If you're bored, try and memorize it. You may think you have it memorized, but I almost guarantee you don't.

3.  If you got through the first two tips, download this app to practice your card counting. 

So you want to go out...

If you want to go to a club, don't be afraid to talk to a promoter. It can save you lots of money, and frankly, it costs you nothing to talk or text with them, especially because AU is during the work week when clubs will be relatively slow. There are various ways to find a promoter who can help you. We got into a club last year right before a promoter texted us back with his cost, which was much cheaper than what we paid. We won't recommend one way over another to find a promoter, but searching on the subreddit for Las Vegas on Reddit is one way to go. If you do get a hold of one, not picking a specific club is the best way to keep your options open. No matter what, be willing to answer the following three questions:

  1. How many guys are in your party?
  2. How many girls are in your party?
  3. What's your budget?

The healing power of soup

In the Palazzo adjacent to the gaming floor is the Hong Kong Cafe. Wonton soup, pho, hot and sour soup – soup has magical powers, especially in Vegas. The Hong Kong Cafe is open until 1:00 a.m. and it's tucked away in a corner, so it's often not very crowded.

AU is a huge event and Vegas is a crazy city, but with a little pre-planning you can make the most of your time there, both inside and outside of the conference.



As you may have noticed, we've been doing a lot of writing about the impact of computational BIM, generative design, and the future of how we work. One thing we haven't done is turn some of this thinking into more rigorous analysis. But now we're ready to do that! 

If you work for a general contractor, subcontractor, or design firm and want to collaborate on whitepapers that quantify how computational methods of working will change our industry, reach out to us and let’s talk about what we can do. We're open to collaborations worldwide and have lots of ways of measuring performance indicators to gain insight into change in our industry. Contact Brett Young at

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