Fancy Meeting You Here—How to Approach the Austin Conference Experience

Read Time: 2.5 minutes

In less than a month, you’ll join hundreds of professionals at the largest event designed especially for experiential graphic designers. [Not registered? Stop waiting for a brighter shade of yellow. Hit that Registerbutton now!]

Whether you’re a student, a young designer, new to SEGD or new to the conference experience, we’ve put together this handy list to help you make the most of the event.

Pre-Conference Checklist:

Investigate the area. Spend a couple of minutes of quality time with google maps and explore the local dining options, places to pick up necessities and points of interest.

Review your schedule. Take a look at the agenda again, and review which tours and events you’ve signed up for. Decide what sessions you definitely do not want to miss and which ones are a lower priority for you. With so much to see and experience in three days, you want to make sure you’ve got a plan. [However, spontaneity is likely to strike at any time.]

Check the weather. Yes, we’ll all be sweating in the Austin sun come June, but it is never a bad idea to bring a sweater or light jacket in case the A/C is running too aggressively. [To be too hot or to be too cold? Why choose? Be prepared.]

Figure out who you want to meet. Take a look at the SEGD websitefor the list of speakers,sponsors and board members. [I know who you are, now let me tell you who I am.]

Don’t forget key items! Chargers, laptop, tablet, samples of your work, business cards (more than you think you need), breath mints and the oft-forgotten toothbrush. [Breath check! This is networking 101 people.]


Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Conference Experience:

Don’t be late to Sign Up. The longer you wait to register, the less likely you are to secure your spot on the tour of your choosing. Tours are first-come-first-serve and, like many things in life, you’ve got to be proactive to get exactly what you want for the best deal. [Oh, you wanted to go on that bike tour around Austin? Sold out! Try again.]

Start conversations. Introduce yourself and ask questions. [Perhaps, which bar are we all meeting at after the session? Or, is that Paula Scher?!] This is no time to be shy. Likewise, don’t cut off a meaningful conversation just to snag a “good seat” at the next session—that person could be a future partner or employer. You never know who you’ll meet! That’s the beauty of such a large EGD networking conference. [You won’t know the where the party is unless you talk to those around you.]

Hang out. Attend the social parts of the conference and the impromptu gatherings that happen after the day is done. This is where a lot of the magic happens, as people have uninterrupted time to discuss design, projects and projects with peers from around the world. [I have a feeling we are going to be fast friends.]

Take notes. Make sure while you’re taking notes: mental, physical, visual notes, etc. Sketch and snap photos to get more out of your experience. By visually capturing your event experience and sharing it on social media, you can hold on to the memories and connections you make with other attendees and speakers. [Tweet or post your conference pics using the hashtags #SEGDconf #BeThere and easily make your peers who stayed home regret their decision to not join the networking, learning and fun in Austin.]

Create an Ex-Sum. After each talk, try to summarize the main idea in one concise thought. Write this down, and make sure it’s easy to find later. Review. After the conference, read your notes and transfer the most salient points to your to-dos and regular notes.

Follow-up. You’ve met interesting people and made some contacts, which could turn into a future job or project. Give it a couple of days—but wait any longer and opportunities can slip through the cracks. Connect on social media.

Watch. Post-conference, keep your eyes peeled for the conference videos on SEGD Talks. When they are posted, watch the ones you missed, and re-watch ones you found most useful. [Remember those powerful quotes from your favorite industry leaders that hit you so hard in the moment but you later forgot what was actually said? Yeah, we’ve got you covered.]

Most importantly, Have fun! With so many like-minded people all in one place, you’re likely to make friends quickly and bond over shared experiences for years to come. [There’s no telling what kind of silliness you’ll get into. The good news is, we’re here for it.] 

The 2019 SEGD Conference will take place on June 6-8 in Austin. There’s no time to wait! Register now.

This year’s Austin Conference experience is sponsored by Daktronics. Check out their SEGD members portal!