The 2018 SEGD Conference Experience Minneapolis delivered the highest satisfaction score for an SEGD conference since the great recession. Of those who attended, 92 percent reported they were either "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with the experience. Honestly, unless you were there, it is hard to describe just how great it was—there were many "magic moments" this year. For me, they included a highly energized Chapter dinner, the likes of which I have never seen before: Go SEGD Chapter Chairs! What an amazingly talented and motivated group! If you have not met your local Chapter Chair, make sure to do so. They are the future leadership of SEGD and can help you get the best out of your local design community, as well as help you through their connections across the organization.
Wandering through the Nexpo Hall Thursday evening during the President's Reception delivered an exceptional experience. Have you ever experienced a trade show floor where the lights are turned down low? It was pure magic. No one wanted to leave—even after the bar closed! (It is hard to beat a historical train station for a venue.)
Minneapolis delivered big time with some great tours and speakers: How can you go wrong with a brewery district tour? And then there was Minneapolis itself, a great city to hold a conference in. Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Gary Stemler of Archetype and Gretta Fry—our conference chairs this year—as well as the Minneapolis Chapter and SEGD staff who made it all happen. Justin Molloy's programming was spot on—the SEGD annual conference just keeps getting better and better. Remember that all the videos from the conferenceare free for members to watch at your leisure. We will be back in Austin, Texas in 2019. This time around, we are doing two stops in the middle on our conference venue rotation from the east to west coast.
Jane Davis Doggett,the 2018 SEGD Fellow, stole the show Saturday afternoon. Invest a quick 20 minutes watching the video about her life's work to understand why. I think many of us aspire to be as agile, talented and accomplished as Jane is in our own lives. Don't forget to readabout the 2018 SEGD Achievement Award winners. Amy Lukas's Distinguished Member Award was well deserved for her work for the association in multiple capacities. This year saw two new SEGD Achievement Awards, Chapter Chair and Educator, introduced to recognize the important role that both play in the development of SEGD and the Experiential Graphic Design profession. Congratulations to the recipients, Nick Kapica for Chapter Chair and Kristine Matthews for Educator.
What's in the SEGD Pipeline?
SEGD's Strategic Planoutlines how the association will generate half of the benefit to members through physical networking and the other half online via SEGD.org. At the mid-year mark, we can already say with certainty that 2018 will be another excellent year of progress for SEGD in both areas.
We are hard at work on:
- Three more networking and educational events: Wayfinding & Placemaking(July 19-20, Los Angeles), Exhibition & Experience Design(August 23-24, Washington D.C.) and 2018 Xlab(November 2-3, New York)
- More informative practical learning webinars
- A new website in the first half of 2019
- An upgraded Professional Learning programof workbooks, podcasts and courses
- Additional SEGD Chapters
Don't be fooled by the lack of big announcements from SEGD this summer, as 2018 is a production year for the forthcoming website. It has been by far the busiest year we have had to date, due to the enormous tasks of creating a new website and upgrading courses and events This is also the first time that, in addition to the new Management for Designers event, we will have hosted an event for each practice area within one year. These physical opportunities to connect, learn and be inspired within your practice area are unprecedented.
In line with the Strategic Plan goal to deliver 50 percent of benefits digitally, we have elevated SEGD.org from its position as a digital brochure (just five years ago) to a comprehensive content portal and emerging digital tools platform for the community. The content portal contains over 7,000 articles and a robust indexing system—Xplore—in addition to over 2,100 member bios, 300 speaker videos, 10,000 images and (soon to come) more than 200 course podcasts. Taking all this into account, we have overshot the goal of 50 percent of membership benefits delivered digitally.
We have no plans to rest on our laurels, however, because we believe that digital delivery is the future of associations, and SEGD is pushing hard to be on the cutting-edge. The development of SEGD.org's suite of professional tools has been progressing positively, though it lags about 18 months behind the content portal in terms of maturity. (Both platforms were developed gradually over the past five years for reasons of cost-efficiency.) We are now in the process of consolidation, looking at the logic and usability of these two very important value generators for members. Refining and improving the usability of the tools platform is no small task, given the size of the content repository and the diversity of our audience.
Our ultimate aim is to ensure that SEGD members have access to the very best resources to learn, become inspired and achieve success in the experiential graphic design field, in whatever format works best for them individually.
In 2018, we have been hard at work upgrading one of the last pieces of the SEGD content puzzle: a comprehensive set of learning resources. This section will include videos, courses, workbooks and podcasts. The new workbooks, developed by the Academic Task Force, will serve as guidance for our Core Competencies learning modules, providing a framework, learning outcomes, references, case studies and examples of best practices. The workbooks will support anyone wishing to enter the profession, professionals looking to improve their knowledge of practice, or educators interested in setting up a new experiential graphic design curriculum. This is all thanks to the hard work of our volunteers on the Academic Task Force,led by Christina Lyons and Justin Molloy. If you have not seen the work on connecting all of SEGD's content to the Core Competencies and especially the new workbooks (which go even further to link to case studies, books and other resources), take a look at them now. Research,Prototyping,Detailing,Presentation Techniques.
More SEGD Chapters
The SEGD community now has 34 Chapters,including 24 in the United States and 10 Chapters abroad, more than doubling the number of Chapters five years ago. This year, SEGD welcomed Melbourne, Nashville and St. Louis Chapters. But we're not done; there are a few more international and stateside Chapters on the way!
The Chapters expand in kind as SEGD's overall membership (over 2,200) grows. This growth is due to strong support from past and present Chapter Chair Liaisons Cynthia Hall, George Lim and now Kris Helmick. In all likelihood, the Chapters will host upward of 100 local Chapter events around the world through 2018; these events energize local EGD communities by bringing excellent programming to members in their own cities. We know from research that these local events are just as important as the digital content and tools SEGD provides.
In many ways, this is a tough year on the backend of the SEGD operation as we try to complete work on one of the best repositories of content and training materials in the design profession. As we launch the new website early next year, you will see the new section emerge as a comprehensive learning resource. This is no small feat for the smallest of the design organizations.
We can no longer say that we are the "smallest design organization" as we have overtaken other design organizations on a number of important criteria such as membership, chapters and more.
Feedback is a vital part of this journey, so please let us know when you see something you would like to see improved.
Wishing you all a very happy and rewarding summer. We look forward to welcoming you to one of the remaining three events: Wayfinding & Placemaking, Exhibition & Experience Design and Xlab. You've earned it!