Fantastic Friday #011 | AU2020

So, here we are. Fantastic Friday #011.

You may have noticed my absence from blogging for a while. I have had to focus on business and family. We are now in our SECOND lockdown here in the UK, and I just battened down the hatches for a while. COVID sucks.

At this time of year, in fact, I would be on the other side of the globe, just finishing my week of recording out in sunny Carpinteria, California, on the LinkedIn Learning campus. At the time of writing this, I would just be waking up for Friday for my last day in the recording booth.

Then, it would be an Amtrak journey down to Burbank and a quick Southwest flight out to Vegas, where the Autodesk University (AU) insanity begins.

Next week, a new surreal AU insanity begins. AU2020 will be virtual. It will also be FREE for the first time. No more ESTA and passport required, no luggage to lug around, and no walking! My walk to AU this year will be down my stairs and into the office at home.

Whilst attending and speaking at AU from home this year could be construed as a blessing, I have found it more stressful. Anyone else found that? I found when in Vegas, I was able to focus on the task in hand and divorce myself from anything else. I guess that is because you are right there in the hotel where the event is being held.

Also, especially in a second lockdown here in the UK, I am missing human contact. Yes, I have my family here, but getting out of the house and into the world is something I have always enjoyed. Travelling, meeting new people, making new contacts, and networking. This is the AU ethos. It is one of the biggest networking events on the planet, right? Sure, I won’t miss the walking, or needing a humidifier in my hotel room, or having to buy a HUGE supply of water from Walgreens next to the hotel complex to get through the week, but I will miss all my colleagues and friends.

I also have a personal reason to have wanted a face-to-face AU this year. Not only has 2020 been an awful year because of the pandemic, but we lost an AU legend this year too. Bill Adams (Blads or Biwh to his closest friends and colleagues) died earlier in 2020 and meeting all the usual suspects in Vegas this year to toast his memory would have been a perfect send off. I was lucky enough to visit Bill and his lovely wife, Karen, at their home in Australia in October 2019, and enjoy some laughs and some wine. It’s that memory that I’ll always cherish.

Bill could make anyone laugh and his dry Aussie humour always brightened up AU, along with his obscure headgear, ranging from minions to mohawks, as Donnie Gladfelter (The CAD Geek) clearly demonstrates.

To make up for the lack of a face-to-face toast for Bill, I have organized an open Zoom call for any of Bill’s contacts, friends, and colleagues on the Wednesday of AU next week. I have up to 100 places available on my Zoom account, so please email me at if you are thinking of attending and I’ll get an invite over to you.

Making friends like Bill has been the best part of Autodesk University for me. Not only is the event a great leveller where users get to meet, and talk with the Autodesk staffers, it is an incredible mixing pot of all walks of life, from all over the planet, learning, meeting, talking, and laughing, in a city that never sleeps. Vegas is the one place I visit where those blackout blinds really do serve their purpose!

I will most certainly miss the audiences in my AU classrooms this year, plus everything else that a face-to-face AU brings, and I sincerely hope that when AU2021 comes around, we will all finally get to meet again, in a world with a COVID vaccine, where human contact is once again the norm.

In the meantime, I wish you all an AMAZING virtual AU, and I hope you check out my classes! My class details are as follows, so please feel free to click on the links and add them to your AU schedule (and perhaps recommend them to other AU attendees): –

AS463428 – Using Mobile Technology: Get AutoCAD on Your Phone and Tablet

AS463447 – Understanding the New AutoCAD—One AutoCAD with Seven Toolsets

I’ll also be in the Answer Bar for a few AutoCAD sessions as the AutoCAD expert, so maybe stop by if you have any AutoCAD questions!

Please have a great weekend and make the best of it before the AU insanity begins. Love who you’re with, contact who’s not there and far away, and most of all, please be patient and STAY AT HOME.

We are living in strange and chaotic times. Hang on in there, stay safe, and most of all, be kind to one another.

It’s Fantastic Friday.

Be fantastic and super, to others, and yourselves too. 😉


PS – If you want to start preparing for your AutoCAD Certified Professional examination, check out the new LinkedIn Learning learning path here.

Posted in AU2020, AutoCAD, AutoCAD 2018, AutoCAD 2019, AutoCAD 2020, AutoCAD 2021, autodesk, Autodesk University, Coronavirus: COVID-19, Expert Elite, Fantastic Friday, LinkedIn Learning, Not Just CAD! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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