HxGN LIVE: Through the eyes of a first-timer

Since joining the Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence team nearly 6 months ago, a large part of my work has consisted of content coordination for HxGN LIVE 2016. Mostly, my responsibilities included the generation and coordination of the Manufacturing Intelligence track’s sessions and television content (I even volunteered to host a few HxGN TV sessions myself, but we will get into that later). Being given the privilege to work on this yearly conference was something that I am grateful for. Being able to see all of our hard work come to life at the event was even better.

Fast forward to 11 June. Our bags are packed, airline tickets in hand as we board the plane. A ‘quick’ 6-hour flight from Logan International to LAX was all that stood between me and my first HxGN LIVE.

‘Great Stories Start Here’ was this year’s theme for HxGN LIVE. All five of Hexagon’s unique tracks made their way to the Anaheim Convention Center for three days of new technologies, innovations and networking. This year’s venue was fresh and a welcome sight for all.

Being a first timer, day one was a whirlwind. With the help of my employee badge, I was able to enter The Zone before it had been ‘officially’ opened. An early start and quick breakfast seemed to be a theme for many of the employees, eager to get a sneak peek of the new technologies. I too saw this as an opportunity to explore and see what our five tracks had to offer. It wasn’t long into my exploration that I had realised just how large a company Hexagon AB truly is, and how the organization serves many different industries. From S&I (Safety and Infrastructure) to PP&M (Process Power and Marine), it is truly impressive, and HxGN LIVE is the only place to experience the full scope of the Hexagon product portfolio. Speaking from a company-wide perspective, The Zone was the best way to get hands on with the various products, services and experts. Again, as a fairly new employee, this portion of the conference proved to be most beneficial and one thatI thoroughly enjoyed all week. The Zone experience itself is worth the price of admission.

Perhaps one of the most inspiring moments of HxGN LIVE 2016 came during Ola Rollén’s keynote ‘How Great Stories TakeShape’. Here, I learned how our daily business at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is an important ‘page’ that is used to complete the production story. Our ‘page’ made its debut this year at HxGN LIVE, as Norbert Hanke introduced the Manufacturing Intelligence track to the crowd for the first time. ‘The Shape of Progress’ keynote speech was expertly crafted. This keynote taught me how the world of manufacturing sees progress, and what this means to our customers and their industries.

After getting some much-needed inspiration from the keynote presenters, I tried my hand in front of the camera. HxGN TV gave me the opportunity to host a variety of TV shows with industry experts, customers and product line managers, as well as hosting a handful of Technology Showcases in The Zone. This was my first time on camera, and while some obvious nerves came over me during my first recording, it was great to be able to see the hard work and planning come to life. I was very impressed with the professionalism and expertise that HxGN TV crew brought to the conference. With their guidance, the Manufacturing Intelligence track was able to produce high-quality, informative content about our industry. If you are to find yourself at the next HxGN LIVE, be sure to stop by the recording studio, or even find a roaming reporter to give a conference testimonial! If it is your first time on camera, I might even be able to give you a few tips!

In between hosting and coordinating TV shows, I was able to attend some of the learning sessions that we offered. Our lineup of sessions ranged from customer success stories to highly-technical industry-specific presentations. While some of the sessions proved to be beyond my knowledge of metrology and engineering, it was evident that the others in the room were reaping the benefits of being able to ask questions and share ideas with some of our brightest minds. HxGN LIVE sessions proved to be a gateway for idea sharing and establishing thought leadership in the industry, all while enabling the attendees to see how we can help their stories take shape.

A few times, I felt myself running on empty by day’s end… but not for long. As you are probably aware, ‘California Knows How to Party’. HxGN LIVE provided its guests with evening social events that did not disappoint. From a food truck festival, to ‘A Night in the Park’ at Disneyland, and even our Innovation 360 event in The Zone, attendees were kept well fed and well entertained! At our Manufacturing Intelligence track event, employees and customers enjoyed the sounds of Woodie and The Longboards as they filled the air with a true California vibe as we soaked up the views from the rooftop patio overlooking Anaheim.

So what did I take away from my first HxGN LIVE? Well, the future is bright for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. Very bright, in fact. HxGN LIVE is the mecca of complex problem solving, full of thought leaders and innovators who are working together to help shape smart change. For me, it was more than a conference; it was a career defining experience.

Why not catch up with the latest happenings at HxGN LIVE by reading this blog on the Josh Weiss keynote at the 2023 event?

About the author

Kyle Pheland is now the Global Marketing Operations Manager at Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. At the time of writing he was just 6 months into his role as Marketing Coordinator, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America.


  • Kyle Pheland

    Kyle Pheland is the Marketing Promotions Specialist for Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North America. Pheland is responsible for the development and execution of marketing and advertising materials including product promotions, public relations activities, media advertising, customer communications, social media, web content, email marketing, sales tools and events for North America. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Salve Regina University.

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