The answer is that Vectorworks simply cannot afford NOT to focus on High Schools.
It my belief, that Vectorworks should be actively involved in schools, high schools and universities.
A good friend of mine (and a lecturer at Unitec in Auckland) used to say to me, “Jonathan, what you need to do is to get their mindshare. Get their mindshare, market share will follow”
I wrote my first Vectorworks manual for schools for Vectorworks version 8.5. That was some time ago, but we needed support from Vectorworks and its distributors to make this a success. I updated this for Vectorworks version 11 and Vectorworks 12.5. Several schools have purchased this system from me and have had great results. Imagine, a high school student that learned Vectorworks 11 in 2004, would now be graduating university, and most likely, using Vectorworks commercially.
Design and Technology is being taught at high school, almost from the first year at high school. The students are no longer waiting until university to learn CAD, they are learning from year 11 onwards. At least two universities have said to me that is not their job to teach CAD The universities are looking to high schools to teach CAD. If Vectorworks does not focus their energy on getting Vectorworks into high schools, the users will be learning other CAD programs and Vectorworks will have to move users from these other programs. It isn’t too late to attach this market and give the students a better alternative.
I have recently been helping a high school friend that wanted to use Vectorworks for a project. By using the 3D Modeling manual and Essential Tutorial Manual he was able to create a really cool coffee machine. This was a major project for him, and he was able to create orthographic drawings, a product range and a movie. Now that he has achieved so much with Vectorworks, isn’t it likely that he will carry on with it?
Here is another example… In 2008 we put up a series of posters in a New Zealand University Landscape Design School promoting Vectorworks and downloadable student copies, we made student copies available through a web site portal and we did demos to students and lecturers.
Today we got an order from a student who had downloaded in the last year and now wants a full licence for his work.
This just shows that if you can get their mindshare on then orders and loyalty will follow.
When Vectorworks users look for employees, make sure you advertise in the newspaper and on the Internet. Schools, and especially universities, use these adverts to choose the software they will be teaching or supporting. Make sure Vectorworks gets a mention.
What about getting you, the readers – who are all Vectorworks users and enthusiasts – to contact your local schools to urge the administrations to consider Vectorworks as a software of choice for their design courses. Who better to demonstrate the value of Vectorworks training than real-world users?