BUG Buzz: Meetings Go Virtual
The beginning of 2020 brought enhanced attendance and engagement among Bluebeam User Group meetings across the globe, even as meetings shifted to virtual environments in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
Bluebeam User Groups (BUGs) meet regularly to unite regional AEC professionals and discuss industry-related best practices, trends and tips and tricks when using Revu and other industry software.
Members include regional users of all levels from companies of all sizes who convene to share information, lead tutorials, explore workflows and drive efficiencies within their organizations via the use of Bluebeam Revu.
The beginning of 2020 was a memorable one, as it marked the first time in BUG history that many meetings were moved entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. But as we spotlight in this quarter’s BUG Buzz, that didn’t stop members from bringing their enthusiasm, engagement and expertise to the meetings.
The enhanced engagement of BUG members during the quick move to virtual meetings speaks to the dedication and passion of our Bluebeam BUG Champ leaders. This is why in each quarterly BUG Buzz wrap-up moving forward, we’ll feature a profile of the people that make BUGs as valuable and productive as they are to the Bluebeam user community.
This quarter’s feature is on Davy Architecture’s Jennifer Timmons, who leads the San Diego, California, BUG.
BUG Champ Spotlight: Jennifer Timmons … San Diego, California
Bluebeam Blog: When and how did you first start to use Bluebeam?
Timmons: Gosh, I think it must have been in 2005. I moved to San Diego and I remember having the software installed on my computer shortly thereafter. I remember getting an email from Bluebeam about this thing called “Studio.” I came across the email off-hours and started looking into it at home. I read up about it, created an account and started using it at work.
Back then, it wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now. I remember using it a lot in the beginning for myself—for example, uploading information I might need at a plan check review, where I was not at my desk computer, but using it to give myself access to resources I could only access via my desktop. I was pretty excited about the possibilities.
I often feel like Bluebeam and I grew up together a little bit, since I was young in my career when Bluebeam was relatively young on the market.
Bluebeam Blog: When did you first get involved with a BUG and why?
Timmons: That would have been late in 2017. It started pretty simply: I went on Bluebeam’s website to find the local BUG, thinking it would be a fun group to get to know, since I liked the software so much. I was pretty amazed that one didn’t already exist, and no one in San Diego had taken the initiative to begin a group. I thought, ‘Well, how hard can that be? We definitely need one!’ The main idea behind starting the BUG was the concept of bringing together all kinds of AEC professionals in one space—where titles, contracts and competition was nonexistent.
It is all about the communication, collaboration and sharing what you know to elevate the profession. As a community, we are responsible for so much impact on the environment and so much impact to the people of our communities. The more we can do to raise the bar, collaborate and share ideas, the more we can focus on helping those in need. We get more efficient, we build better quality projects faster, keeping the wheels churning and working on the projects that need the attention, when they need the attention.
Bluebeam Blog: What is the Bluebeam tool you get the most value out of and why?
Timmons: Oh man, what a question. My knee-jerk answer is Tool Chest; I’m so lost without all of my custom tools! But then again, that’s not really a “tool,” so if I had to drill down and really choose just one tool, I’d probably say just the good old Q-Leader/Callout tool. As an architect, I do a LOT of marking up, a TON of progress set markups in-house, submittals, RFIs, even cost estimates—pretty much anything that comes my way. Checklists are even put into Bluebeam.
Bluebeam Blog: Do you have a most memorable BUG event you’ve attended?
Timmons: Oh man, as champion of SanDBUG there are a ton! The last BUG always sticks out, but it’s really the comments and the camaraderie that I remember the most. I remember at our last meeting, we have a plus-delta at the end of every meeting, and it’s usually pretty typical answers, like more cookies, not enough beer, too cold …. you know. But this time, there were like two or three people that said, ‘This BUG could be improved by more social time because, gosh darnit, I want to know how Trevor’s baby is doing! And you didn’t give us enough time to chat with him about that, so shame on you!’ (Well, that’s not exactly what they said, but pretty close).
That’s pretty memorable, because it showed me that we really are creating a community where people can shed their titles and companies and just come together as a bunch of nerdy AEC professionals and talk shop, but also like the folks involved and become invested in each other as individuals. That really warmed my heart.
Bluebeam Blog: What advice would you give to Bluebeam users who haven’t yet attended a BUG meeting?
Timmons: Take the jump! Jump in and discover if it’s right for you. There’s so many ways to invest in your career nowadays. I think the important thing is to find that niche within your industry, figure out what you like the most and find a group that fits it. I don’t think every group will work for everyone. It’s got to fit your style, your nature, your interests and your life arrangement.
Don’t force it. I’d say, find a group that meets when you can make it, and bring your interests to that group—and recognize that just by you being in the group, it’ll morph and become a little bit more like you.
Here are some other highlights from the quarter.
BUG Meetings Go Virtual
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Bluebeam’s BUG leaders shifted all meetings to virtual environments. Meetings in New York City, Kansas City, Austin, Denver, San Diego and Portland quickly embraced and adapted to the new virtual environment, with attendance and engagement at many of the meetings increasing from previous in-person gatherings.
To find upcoming virtual BUG meetings for your area, visit https://events.bluebeam.com/bug-meetings/.
#BUGBUZZ: Featured Social Posts
Notable & Quotable
During NYCBUG’s March 26 virtual BUG meeting during the peak of New York City’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the group took part in a game of “Bluebeam Trivia” that offered a sense of levity and fun to the group during a difficult time.
“We needed this!” wrote David Eppinger of Meadows Office Interiors.
“You guys, this is the best day of my life!” added Lisa Neal of Skanska.