Courtesy, Hexagon 

An outdoor reception during Hexagon 2012 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. This year's conference, HxGN Live, takes place June 3-6 at MGM.

Thinking of skipping Hexagon’s annual conference? Think again.

Rebranded this year as HxGN Live, the four-day gala at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas promises to be better than ever.

Last year, more than 3,000 clients took advantage of the educational and networking opportunities. Featuring its design, measurement and visualization technologies, Hexagon is expecting about 4,000 attendees this year. With a theme of “Great Stories Start Here,” conference-goers can expect to be treated to hands-on sessions and live broadcasts from around the world.

To entice you a little more, we came up with five reasons not to miss the June 3-6 conference.

As if you needed any.

Go home a winner

You won’t have to throw the dice to win big in Vegas. Hexagon is providing an opportunity for geosystems track attendees under the laser scanning/HDS subtrack to take home prizes. The HDS Plan Contest allows users of Leica HDS laser scanners to submit plans or client deliverables in three categories: buildings/heritage, civil/survey and plant/marine. All entries will be displayed during the conference near the geosystems presentation rooms. Electronic versions will also be shown during breaks in each HDS presentation room.

An awards ceremony at a networking luncheon on June 5 will recognize all entrants, as well as first- and second-place finishers in each category. For more information or to enter, contact Mike Harvey at michael.harvey@leicaus.com or 615-585-0689.

Get organized

With four main tracks – geosystems; metrology; process, power and marine; and security, government and infrastructure – there’s something for everyone. More than 450 sessions are scheduled, including keynote speeches, breakouts, technology certification courses and hands-on demonstrations, some of which must be signed up for in advance. Hexagon makes this easy, though.

Log-in with your registration username and password and add the session you desire to your agenda. When finished, print out a copy. In case you forget, they’ll do it for you at the conference registration desk, where you can fold it into your lanyard’s nametag holder.

In the geosystems track, learn about surveying, mapping, laser scanning and geospatial solutions from Leica Geosystems. Find out how Hexagon Metrology enables the measurement and inspection of complex parts in the metrology track. Discover enterprise engineering solutions provided by Intergraph Process, Power & Marine. And explore geospatial solutions from Intergraph Security, Government & Infrastructure (SG&I).

See something that interests you more in a colleague’s track? Don’t be afraid to skip around.

Networking events

Renew acquaintances with old friends and make new ones at HxGN Live networking events. With about 4,000 other smiling faces, you shouldn’t have any trouble doing just that. But in case you do, Hexagon offers some guidance.

New attendees and veterans alike might find the conference orientation session at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 3, as a helpful way to get acclimated to their surroundings prior to the welcome reception at 6 p.m.

The next morning at 10 a.m., Allen Nobles, president of Nobles Consulting Group in Tallahassee, Fla., will offer some tips on “How to Get the Most of HxGN Live.” Nobles will share his experience of partnering with a small surveying firm in Maine on a civic center project. The companies’ cooperation was born during a conversation at a Hexagon event. Specific tips about how to maximize networking success will be shared. “This is the single best place to see how other people are using (Hexagon) systems, find needed partner resources and share ideas,” according to Nobles’ online session description.

In addition to the welcome reception, don’t miss the cocktail party and industry-specific activities that are planned.

The HexFactor

Feeling brave? Need some liquid courage to get on stage? The HexFactor is for you.

Apparently modeled after the Fox reality television show “The X Factor,” HxGN Live will turn you into a superstar if you can handle the pressure. In case you can’t seem to muster it, attendees will be offered enough food and drink to summon that superstar potential. Showcasing talent from around the world, HexFactor contestants will compete live on stage in front of a tough crowd: Conference-goers will decide the winner.

Not in the mood for all the noise? The 7 p.m. June 5 event at the MGM’s Grand Garden Arena also offers back-stage access for a more intimate networking conversation.

It’s Vegas!

Do you really need some incentive?

OK, here goes: Skydiving over the Hoover Dam, dancing celebrity lookalikes dealing the cards at The Quad, exquisite shopping at Bellagio, a visit to the pawn shop, sizzling fajitas on the porch at Jimmy Buffett’s, place your bets on the Belmont Stakes at the city’s best sports book, and find some stellar people-watching over stiff drinks at Hard Rock.

What more could you want? Register online.