The 2015 SEGD Conference: Experience Chicago is over and according to most of the attendees the staff came into contact with, this one was the best, one of the best, awesome, fantastic--you name the adjective; people seemed to really enjoy it. Chicago delivered incredible sunny days, riverboat tours of the city's architecture, and receptions out on the river walk. All these city-based activities provided great opportunities for people to get to know each other and connect.
If you attended--and there were a record 560+ attendees this year, of which 74 were under 30 as compared to just 12 in Atlanta last year--you could not fail to notice the sense of excitement and energy in a profession that is growing steadily. I spoke to many of the young designers and students who all commented on how great the SEGD community felt.
We need to give a big shout out to Nick Kapica and Jo Bailey and the 8 students who joined them at the conference from Wellington, New Zealand. By the way, you will need to add a note to your agenda for February 2017 as the month you will be in New Zealand. SEGD and the Wellington Chapter are organizing a different kind of event to experience New Zealand, which will culminate in a conference in Wellington. This is not a replacement to the annual SEGD Conference which will still happen in the U.S. in 2017, but rather a new option for you to explore the world of Experiential Graphic Design. Literally!
One of the most amazing signs of the health of SEGD's community was that out of the potential 22 past presidents who could have attended, 13 were signed up to attend this year. We were not able to capture all in a single shot, unfortunately, but we did capture this historic shot of 10 SEGD presidents on a beautiful evening along the Chicago waterfront. From left to right: Wayne Hunt, Wayne McCutcheon, Virginia Gehshan, Jonathan Alger, Paula Rees, Steven Stamper, Amy Lukas, Robert Goes, and Jill Ayers (SEGD's 2014 President). Sadly we missed capturing Sue Gould and Gretchen Coss and next year's in-coming President, John Lutz, who were all at the conference but out of camera range!
You can read the wrap-up of the conference elsewhere; however, I would like to thank everyone, especially John Lutz and Joe Lawton, our conference co-chairs, for all their hard work to bring this conference to the community. I would also like to thank all of our amazing members who brought all their fun, energy, and enthusiasm for SEGD to Chicago and showed us once again that they know how to have a good time!
It was great to meet so many new members and share a few minutes' conversation. We all hope that you enjoyed your first experience with SEGD and will remain members for many years to come. Please be sure to fill out the conference survey when it comes out Friday. Also remember that the videos from the conference sessions will be available to all members (or should I say pirates?) for free in a few weeks. You will find the videos in the SEGDTalks tab under the Xplore menu on segd.org where we already have 54 sessions posted from the last year's workshops.
See you all in Seattle in 2016!