Since its first year in 1991, Autodesk University has given attendees the experience of hands-on training with tools and techniques that help them experience ideas before they’re real.
Since its first year in 1991, Autodesk University has given attendees the experience of hands-on training with tools and techniques that help them experience ideas before they’re real. Based on Autodesk’s 25+ years of experience developing the software attendees use every day, AU is designed to give attendees:
- Personal experience learning from some of the world’s top instructors, Autodesk insiders, and industry experts.
- Professional expertise/experience to benefit attendees’ companies and careers.
- The energizing experience of participating in a live event, in a world-class venue, and sharing ideas and insights with a community of peers.
The first AU took place in San Francisco, and was put on by Cadence Magazine. Since then, Autodesk has owned the event and it has continued to grow. At the peak, Autodesk had nearly 10,000 attendees, filled more than 130,000 square feet, and offer 650+ classes (an increase from only 300 classes in 2004). This year, there were 5700 attendees at the event, a 30% drop from AU 2008. However, there were approximately 20,000 virtual attendees during the four-day virtual event.
This year, Autodesk held AU China in Beijing , with 950 participants and AU Japan in Tokyo with more than 500 attendees. AU is also growing virtually – AU Online has a membership of more than 87,000, and since AU 2008, almost half a million session handouts, presentations, datasets, podcasts and screencasts have been downloaded by Autodesk customers worldwide.
Entertainment and Keynote Highlights
Over the years, AU has seen some fun and interesting keynote speakers. One year John Cleese addressed the attendees before a screening of “Monty Python Search for the Holy Grail” during movie night. In 2007, Bill McDonough wowed the audience with his talk about sustainable buildings and Yves Behar shared the vision of the One Laptop Per Child initiative. This year Autodesk brought back the AU Design Slam competition.
AU 2009 By the Numbers
Total Number Attendees: More than 5,700 | 20,000 virtual attendees (estimated)
Total Number Attendee Countries: 109 (including virtual)
Total Number of Classes: 500, plus 150 virtual sessions
Total Number of Exhibitors: 120
Number of Years AU has taken place: 17