2022 Q3 CEO Update

“The role of the designer is that of a good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.” –Charles Eames

This past June I had the delight of touring the Eames Institute led by Ray and Charles Eames’ grand daughter, Llisa Demetrios. Llisa showed us stacks of hand illustrated letters that Ray and Charles sent to her as a child. Throughout the tour she spoke of how her grandparents were always the most gracious hosts, sharing their passion, creativity and love with all their friends, family and peers.

Llisa’s generosity to take the time to personally tour our family with little advance notice was a terrific reminder of when you design an experience that is giving and authentic, everyone feels a much deeper connection and appreciation. 

That role of the “good, thoughtful host” is how I often think of our job at SEGD. It’s also what makes my role as CEO along with all of the staff’s jobs so rewarding. Last month, we hosted over 270 “guests” to our two day SEGD Branded Environments and Xlab event at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.  Hosting an in person event in NYC after a two year hiatus was so inspiring and invigorating. The speakers and the attendees had so much to contribute to the narrative of how our field is evolving, from the use of new technologies to tell unique narratives, to the ways we incubate creativity within our own practices, these changes radiate out to the communities we serve. 

These sessions had visceral connections for me as we are launching some long awaited and game changing initiatives this month at SEGD! 

As CEO, I establish annual goals each year with the staff and Executive Board of Directors. This year I pledged to kicking off the final phase of development for a newly designed website and integrated AMS (Association Management Software) web and app platform for event and membership engagement. In addition, we committed to adding a new full-time staff member to manage the work for the website and for our upcoming 50th anniversary in 2023. Lastly,  we planned an update to our strategic plan to define our institutional goals and supporting key initiatives.

So drum roll please….

2022 KPI #1 – Increase SEGD Staff

Three weeks ago, we announced our new role and staff member Liz Griswold, a longtime SEGD member and Chapter Chair as our SEGD Special Projects Director. Liz comes to us with a depth of knowledge and experience as an EXG practitioner but also like myself, a long time supporter and volunteer of SEGD. Liz’s first and foremost job for the next year is to support the next big SEGD initiative…

2022 KPI #2 – New SEGD Membership Platform and Website Design

This next phase of our website development project will focus on accessible and engaging visual design, simplified navigation, and templates and pathways that help users quickly find what they need while curating our depth of SEGD offerings. The redesigned website will complement and connect to our existing awards platform and a new SEGD Membership Association Management Software (AMS) web platform. Focused on the external user, the redesigned website will support clear institutional storytelling and a consistent brand experience for all our audiences.

With our new website we will tell the unique experience design story. This new site will enable us to advocate for experience design’s impact on space and place. Our new website will tell this story to members, clients, industry partners, educators and collaborators.

In addition to the website design, our new membership Mobile App will allow members and non-members to easily check in to events and access all event information including agendas, bios, event presentations, and documents. Attendees of SEGD events will have the ability to network with fellow attendees, join communities, and manage connections they make in their personal CRM. Members can also update their member profiles, claim their benefits with a Virtual Membership Card, and browse other members and offers in the Directory.

How did we get here?

Last spring we embarked on a very rigorous RFP process to identify firms and then review and shortlist a select group of candidates. Our list started with 16 firms, then narrowed down to six and a final shortlist of three. Our newly established SEGD Website Advisory Committee members were essential to help refine the core competencies and parameters for the scope and deliverables. Our Website Advisory Committee will continue to advise throughout the development process which is scheduled to be complete by the 50th Anniversary Conference in Washington DC in August 2023. 

Our Website Advisory Committee Members:

Phillip Tiongson, Founder, Potion (Committee Chair and SEGD Friend)

Traci Sym, Partner, Plus and Greater Than (SEGD Vice President, Committee Liaison to the Board)

Sara Pasch, Senior Manager of Integrated Media at Obama Foundation (former SEGD Chapter Chair). Prior to joining the Obama Foundation, Sara was the Senior Strategist at Blue Cadet.

Kirsten Southwell, Service Design Lead at Accenture (incoming SEGD Board Member 2023).  Prior to Accenture, Kirsten was the Creative Director for Visual Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

The selected website design firm is Wide Eye, a creative agency specializing in design, branding, and digital products for the 21st-century’s changemakers & visionaries. They help people doing the most good, inspire the most people.

Wide Eye is a creative agency with a purpose — we believe that creativity, technology, and digital expertise should be put to use for positive change. Our team combines the impact-oriented mentality of social activism with the innovative spirit of the design and tech worlds to produce engaging, emotional, eye-catching digital experiences that drive action and create change.

Our selected Association Management System (AMS) firm is Glue Up. This AMS will optimize member engagement and increase our SEGD team’s efficiency in order to focus on achieving our strategic organization goals. The new AMS will focus on paths for growth and consolidating operations in one place to strengthen community relationships with one solution, providing deep insights to maximize engagement.

Glue Up is the leading provider of the cloud solutions that provide associations, event organizers, Chambers of Commerce, agencies, marketers, businesses, and NGOs with a full suite of tools designed to streamline operations, modernize processes, and eliminate engagement challenges. Glue Up’s innovative all-in-one CRM platform helps you build and grow your community through events, memberships & other digital tools.

2022 KPI #3 – Update our SEGD Strategic Plan

Based on a culmination of in person workshops, outreach surveys to our membership and inputs received from our exhibition at the 2022 SEGD Portland Experience, we will be publishing our updated 2022 SEGD Strategic Plan in December. Look out for more on these strategies and initiatives to be launching in 2023 with our 50th Anniversary and 50th Foundation!

As always, if you are interested in getting involved or sharing content, please email us at segd@segd.org.