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AIA: Show Floor Galleries and Notes 1

The AIA National Convention and Exhibition was held this year in San Francisco at the Moscone Convention Center. Famous for hosting Macworld each January and the site of Steve Jobs’ famous keynotes, the AIA show easily filled all three halls at Moscone, something Macworld has never done in recent times.

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On the following pages we will be showing some of our AIA National Expo show floor photos. This year was much like last year in Boston, plenty of good action on the part of exhibitors within the Software Pavilion. What was different was that there were about 20 percent less people on the show floor and of course this was related to the economy mostly. 

As a side note, it was interesting to compare this show at the Moscone to the Macworld Expo show at Moscone. In the AIA’s case, all three exhibit halls were pretty much filled to capacity–which would be a dream-come-true for a Macworld Expo show. 

01 - Nemetschek North America was on hand to show its latest release of Vectorworks Architect 2009.

01 - Nemetschek North America was on hand to show its latest release of Vectorworks Architect 2009. Here architects visiting the booth pick up new licenses after watching a round of demos in the mini booth theater.

It is always interesting for me to hang around all the booths and over-hear with people say as they come up to them and experience various companies for the first time. At both AIA shows (this year and last) I heard separate individuals say to their buddies, “what’s Vectorworks Architect?”  This still really surprises me because on some level I think this company does an excellent job of marketing itself. I suspect there are several factors at play here. One is that Vectorworks is truly a “global product” success story. So the company markets to a global audience. I know from past interviews with Nemetschek executives that the company is aware of this issue specific to the US. Showing up at AIA National each year is a steady way to address its US market share. 

02 - Vectorworks booth. Gallery Walls show flashy architecture.

02 - Vectorworks booth. Gallery walls show flashy architecture. This connection between outstanding architecture by its users links creativity and excellence to Vectorworks Architect.

Like the Bentley booth the Nemetschek North America booth does a great job of showcasing its architecture by its users. I personally love this aspect of both company’s booths. It is also an Apple-way of doing things–demonstrating the link between creative work and the tools that make it. I’ll address more of that aspect in an article on Autodesk later. 

03 - Graphisoft introduced EcoDesigner at AIA and their new tool did draw lots of users to their booth.

03 - Graphisoft introduced EcoDesigner at AIA and their new tool did draw lots of users to their booth.

Graphisoft introduced EcoDesigner at the AIA show and the company’s booth drew lots of visitors. The one unique market advantage Graphisoft holds in the industry is that it has been producing a true BIM software tool longer than any other CAD software company serving the global markets. As such the company is smart to point out that millions of buildings have been produced by ArchiCAD. This is a statement of confidence and maturity in the use of ArchiCAD to meet the BIM demands of architects around the globe. 

04 - An architect checks out the features of ArchiCAD 12, shown here running on a Mac Pro.

04 - An architect checks out the features of ArchiCAD 12, shown here running on a Mac Pro.

The Graphisoft booth was loaded with Macs (of course there were Windows PCs too…) and it seemed this year (more than last) more visitors to the booths were gravitating to the Mac stations. Obviously, that is where the sexy hardware and OS lives. Might I be particularly more biased and sensitive to this phenomena? Of course. But it seemed to me that the Mac in particular was a bit more popular. I have much more to say about that based on some COFES feedback. (more on that later…)

As mentioned EcoDesigner was the brand new software product introduced by Graphisoft at AIA. We will be covering this product in detail in a separate report.