11 Jun 2020

Why Jim Quanci Thinks You Should Be a Speaker at AU

Call For Proposals season is well underway! Forge at Autodesk University (AU) is continuing to accept submissions to be a Class Speaker at our highly anticipated digital conference through June 22nd.  Check out this blog for tips and ideas on submitting the perfect proposal.


We checked in with Jim Quanci, Senior Director of Developer Advocacy and Support, to hear why he’s so excited about Forge at Autodesk University going digital this year and why you should join us. Here is what he had to say: 


2020 has been an interesting year so far. With the announcement of Autodesk University going virtual, what are you most excited about for the event? 

I am excited about reaching 5-10 times more people with great information! It will be multilingual and more reach is just going to be very cool. The opportunity for ISV’s (independent software vendors) to meet a lot more customers on a global basis will be great. Customers will be able to connect with experts in the technology areas they’re most interested in, no matter where the experts are in the world! This year you’ll get access to more skills, capabilities, and power than ever, all from the safety of your home.


Your team hosts the Forge Accelerators which you recently took virtual. What are some learnings you can share that might help future Forge class speakers at Autodesk University Virtual? 

We’ve learned how to get up close and personal while isolated. Using Slack and Zoom we’re able to have impromptu “face to face” meetings. One of the beauties of it, is outreach can be 24 hours a day, no matter where in the world you are. So it’ll be nice that instead of the customers or ISVs dealing with our schedule, they can get access to the best person much more on demand.  Also, if you make the logistics smooth and are properly prepared to present, it makes the communication easier and more engaging because you aren’t thrashing around. Being well prepared overall to present in this new fashion will be key.


Since you’ve seen what the community has been building at the Forge Accelerators, are there any applications that you’d love to be showcased at Autodesk University? 

There are lots! The virtual Accelerators are about twice as big as the face to face ones were, with about 22-24 companies and around 50 people in attendance. I’d say 80% of companies attending have something that everybody who participates loves seeing by the end of it. There have been many applications that are mind expanding, where you go “How did you do that? I didn’t know you could do that. Tell me how you did that!”. We have many examples of these “wows”. We also have a unique chance at AU Digital to see topics that are a little more niche that might not have had a chance to get seen otherwise. So hopefully this provides an opportunity to present even more classes because we don’t have location or time constraints.


If you had to give speakers one reason to submit a proposal, what would it be? 

If you are an ISV, it’s about engaging new customers in a very helpful, open, and educational environment. AU is the best forum to do this. There is not a more effective way to market and sell than to present a class at AU. If you are a customer, it’s a chance to advance your career and show off all the great work you are doing to your peers. I’m really hoping that with the opportunity to host so many more classes, we’ll have the chance to provide a lot more content, networking, and opportunities for all.


I think he said it best—there are so many more class opportunities with AU 2020 going virtual.  Don’t delay in submitting your Forge Class Proposals here. If you’d like to check out previous Forge classes and events, click here

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