This past summer was a very busy one for SEGD—and for SEGD Members, I've been told.
In July, we hosted a record-breaking crowd at the Wayfinding event in LA, which boasted some amazing tours as well. We built on that success with the Exhibition & Experience Design event in August in Washington DC. The format of running educational events for SEGD's specific practice areas is working very well to deliver targeted learning experiences alongside opportunities to network.
There is only one more event left for 2018: Xlab.
This year, Xlab is going to be fantastic. If you look back over the last seven years of Xlab, we started by examining the cutting edge of technology. Back then, a lot of things were happening with technology that would enable a whole new way to connect people to place, creating new experiences in the process. A year ago, we published the Technology Roadmap for Experiential Graphic Design;technology roadmaps are very useful for product planners and designers to help their teams understand the features and benefits they will be able to deliver for end users—and when.
Last year, we felt that the development of new technologies for EGD was maturing, despite the technologies themselves not yet being in widespread use. Now, the technology possibilities of the last decade are starting to be demonstrated in real projects. For that reason, we have turned our attention from the new technologies to how they are influencing practice this year.
This year's Xlab speakers will be discussing not what is coming, but rather what designers are doing with new technologies. The talks will be about new ideas that have been implemented in real life projects. What you will learn at Xlab, you can take away and implement in your next project. (You know your clients are asking for more digital!)
This year's topic is how storytelling is evolving as new technologies are implemented in EGD projects. The focus is not on exhibition design, though there will be several examples from that practice area. It is more about the broader notion of how we tell stories about brand, place and moments in time in the built environment.
SEGD's Strategic plan calls for us to deliver 50 percent of our value physically and 50 percent digitally. A big portion of the physical half is devoted to the vitality of the local Chapters. It is at the local level that many people first experience the SEGD community. Although, for the Millennial generation, most of them experience SEGD digitally first—it's a good thing we have a dual strategy to attract new members digitally, then deliver events physically! There is a lot to celebrate at SEGD, but the progress that makes us most proud is the health of our Chapters. Welcome to Kansas City, our newest addition!
In 2012, we had nine active Chapters with only a dozen or so Chapter Chairs. Today we have 35 Chapters; there are 25 Chapters in the U.S., ten international chapters and 84 Chapter Chairs. Collectively, they host hundreds of events each year. A association community is nothing without amazing volunteers like our Chapter Chairs who organize and host these events. SEGD could not be more proud of or more thankful for the inspiring work that our Chapter Chairs do for the community.
Cynthia Hall, George Lim and your present Chapter Liaison to the Board, Kris Helmick, also deserve credit for the remarkable development and growth of the Chapters. It has been a total turnaround for the health of the SEGD community on the local level. You can see it in the membership, which has doubled in number and halved in age (approximately) since 2012.
In Q2, we reported that we were hard at work on developing educational resources. At this point, we are about halfway through this project and should finish in Q1 of 2019. So far, upgrades have been made to 70 of the 130 Podcasts; four Workbooks (with more to come) were added and these resources were linked to the Core Competencies.
We expected that this year would entail a ton of work on SEGD's digital platform and educational content, with little of what we were doing being visible to the community. However, the continuous growth of the Chapters is a very visible sign of our progress—and there are more Chapters in the process of being approved! The EGD field has never seen so much attention from across the globe—but that is hardly surprising as it is completely aligned with the gradual global economic shift from products and services to experiences. We are here to support those who want to create experiences that connect people to the places where they live, work and play.
Please support your local Chapter: Go out, meet your local community and volunteer to help. SEGD is completely open to collaborate with all the other design organizations to develop a strong local cross-disciplinary creative community in all the cities where we have Chapters.
I predict 2019 will be another strong year of progress towards achieving SEGD's mission.