This month, two members of the Austin Consultants team; Peter Davies and Matt Collett were lucky enough to fly to Austin Texas, home to National Instruments’ global headquarters for the annual NI Week conference. The conference brings together some of the brightest minds in engineering and science and this year was no different with over 3,200 innovators representing a huge variety of industries.
After a week of networking with clients, partners and friends and experiencing some of the greatest technologies NI and their partners have to offer, Peter and Matt shared their thoughts with us:
Peter Davies – Chief Technology Officer
“I arrived in Austin very late on the Friday before NI Week and immediately bumped into the NI Sales Team in the foyer of the hotel we were staying at. Feeling horribly jetlagged I headed off to bed then spent the rest of the weekend touring Austin with the NI guys and checking out the city.
NI Week officially began on the Monday and kicked off with an Alliance Partner Day which involved learning about the business side of NI and their predictions on where the industry was headed. They hosted a range of seminars throughout the day from business to marketing to legal. There were already over 1000 delegates there all checking out different sessions throughout Austin Convention Centre. True to NI Week, Monday evening didn’t disappoint either, with a night of entertainment shared across the Alliance Partners. There was already an excited buzz about the place and it was great to see so many familiar faces in one place!
The Tuesday and Wednesday of NI Week were filled with keynote speakers, and seminars, and an exhibition that boasted an amazing array of product demonstrations and innovative technology. My particular favourite demo spotted during the exhibition was a music demo made up of a robot arm playing the guitar by hammering on the notes along each fret of the instrument. It was really inspiring to see some of the projects achieved using LabVIEW and other National Instruments’ tools and inspired us to come up with a new exciting demo for NI Days in November – watch this space!
This is the sixth time I’ve attended NI Week and each year I go along for different reasons and am always blown away by what I experience at the event and always come back motivated for the following year. This year was no different, and my motivator for attending was to keep on top of all of the latest innovations in the world of NI Research and Development, and to network with the US NI team to get a sense of the ‘bigger picture’. NI didn’t disappoint. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the closed-door sessions to discuss both the future of LabVIEW and the future of VeriStand and am very excited about the direction that National Instruments are going.
I would definitely recommend attending NI Week if you are considering it, simply for the buzz of excitement and being the first to hear where technology is going and seeing some incredible projects in action. The quality of the seminars is second to none and there’s nothing like feeling a part of something huge and celebrating that with 3200 other like-minded people. I am already looking forward to 2016!”
Matt Collett – Head of Sales
“Lesson learned on my first visit to NI Week; book flights early and go direct. After missing my connection in Washington I finally arrived at NI Week in Austin on Monday afternoon – 15 hours later than I had originally planned!
There are always positives in any challenging situation, and making a new friend at Washington Airport who also missed his connection to NI Week was certainly one of these. Thank you Serdar Oz from Turkey for making my journey much more enjoyable! Our meeting in Washington shows the enormity of NI Week; bumping into one of the other 4000 delegates who have travelled from all over the world and all coming together for this annual event.
My first impression of the conference was that it was slick! The whole event felt extremely professional and meticulously organised, and was designed to wow attendees, customers, partners and technology users to make them feel a part of something really special. It certainly achieved this! There was no mistaking the feeling of being valued and welcomed into the NI family. What really struck me was the global mix of attendees, demonstrating the huge reach and use of NI technology throughout the world. I was impressed!
My main focus for attending NI Week, as you would expect from a Sales guy was to network and build relationships with contacts; new and existing, including partners, customers and contacts within National Instruments. To have such a concentration in one place is an opportunity too good to miss and it certainly delivered.
Thank you to the Northern European NI team who were there in force for their hospitality both day and night! The opportunity to speak with US based NI specialists to discuss opportunities in short, medium and long-term to grow together and share experiences in specialist areas were a win win for everyone.
The business sessions on Monday (since I did make the afternoon!) were clear and informative, from understanding the NI sales transformation program and how to align as a partner, to growing with NI on its trajectory to a $5 billion company.
My overriding takeaway from NI Week was the passion, excitement and enthusiasm of everyone I met along the way. With new products announced, NI are clearly listening and through the long-term strategy NI demonstrated, its continued expansion and growth, and its commitment and need for partners as an integral part of this makes the future a very bright one!”