By Clive Roux
What a year it has been. We've heard from so many of you that this year has been really busy, and we're happy to say that has also been the case for your association. We've been working hard on all aspects of SEGD to make participation a better value for you. Much of our work has been focused on using the website to deliver more and better benefits to you.
Let's begin with the most exciting news--what is new for SEGD members in 2015:
- Free webinars for all members! (Yes, we said free webinars!)
- Free videos of speaker presentations from all SEGD workshops, starting with Xlab 2014! (Yep, free again! Expect 80 to 100 videos next year.)
- Free registration to all SEGD events for student members
- The new peer-reviewed academic journal Communication + Place, where you can publish and review the latest research related to EGD/XGD
- New special discounted-price membership for Developing World Members
These new benefits make membership more valuable than ever. And they're happening because we listened to you. In a recent survey of SEGD firm leaders, one of the common themes was for us to help attract more designers into Experiential Graphic Design. By inviting students to our events for free, we'll give them a great taste of an awesome community doing fantastic work. More than 90 students attended Xlab 2014 this year, up from 15 in 2013. These are the young design professionals who will be leading our field in the future. Our new Youth Council and the Young Designers Meet and Greet during the annual conference will also attract new recruits on an ongoing basis.
There is more good news. SEGD has had a solid year financially, streamlined the board of directors for more effective leadership, and adopted new Professional Standards of Practice. Traffic to our relaunched website almost tripled this year, bringing members lots of targeted attention for their bios, firm listings, member news, and projects. We've worked hard on search optimization, as you'll see if your member bio or firm listing is on SEGD.org and you search your name or firm name. If you don't have a member bio or firm listing, get one! Even if you did absolutely nothing else with SEGD all year, the website will deliver you promotional value far in excess of Google or any other advertising platform available!
If you're a sponsor, things are looking even better. We refined sponsorship packages for 2015, working hard to upgrade your exposure and benefits, especially for Industry Partners. Leverage 200,000+ visitors and 1.5 million page views on SEGD.org and network with attendees at our national and local chapter events. Nationally, our events grew by 36% this year and our chapters hosted 25% more events than last year.
And finally, despite the trends in associations overall, our membership numbers are growing! We're probably going to beat our all-time high membership numbers this year, setting yet another new record.
SEGD is having a record year all around thanks to you, the members who have found value in your community and quality in the educational products and services we produce. SEGD has never been this busy and the members have never been as engaged as they are now. That makes for a really great start to our process of improving the value of SEGD. Become a member (or renew this month!) and experience the new energy that is your professional association today.