Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An update from AIGA -- Post Conference!

Ok, so, I neglected to update my blog while I was at AIGA in Denver last week (as I promised in one of last week's entries). I'm still trying to figure out "how much blogging is too much" and "how much is enough to keep everyone reading -- and thirsting for more!" I need some input from all of you. Comment below, or take my survey (see right) to vote for the number that best describes your blog posts in a week. I'd love to have your feedback!

Now, as for Denver. The AIGA:Next conference was an amazing experience, and I can't wait to share about all of the things I learned while there. I'm travelling for work again this week (in D.C. for a recruiting conference honing my skillz), but I have my notes from AIGA with me and free time in the evenings, so there will be lots to read in the next three days! For now, I want to talk a bit about what I was busy doing in Denver when I wasn't attending sessions.

At conferences like these, there is always an exhibition floor with booths from many different companies that are fascinating to we designers: Neenah Paper , Adobe, Veer, and Sappi. I always spend time browsing the booths (which the exhibitors/sponsors pay big bucks to get, and I did so at this conference (I picked up lots of free paper samples, books, t-shirts and trinkets (so much designerly stuff that I had to check my carry-on bag on my way home because it was too heavy!).

Anyway, prior to the conference, I was brainstorming with a couple of designers: How can we (Hallmark) network at a conference and get our name out there without paying a lot of money for a booth? How can we get creative with networking? Here's an example of what happens when you "network" the common way. I usually end up with so many business cards after networking at a conference that they end up getting mixed into my underwear compartment in my suitcase. Then, when I get home an unpack, I find them a few weeks later and wonder... why is the business card of Chip Kidd in my underwear drawer?? I have found business cards in other random places as well -- in the back of my notebook, mixed in with my receipts for lunch, in my shoes... you get the idea.

You are probably thinking, is she simply disorganized? Does she just not care about the cards people give her? On the contrary: I am so organized that I am practically considered OCD (ask my boyfriend Eric - it drives him nuts), and I get business cards that I definitely want to follow up on from people who are amazingly talented and interesting (Chip Kidd for one)... The issue is quantity.

So, back to my brainstorm with the designers I was talking about.

The images below are what we used as our "business cards" during the conference. We handed them out, along with buttons that matched each of our campaigns. And the result: we handed out over 600 of them, and around 60 people came to a Happy Hour we sponsored. It was a lot of hard work, but really fun -- much more fun than handing out a 3.5" x 2" piece of paper with 6pt. type on it! We met some very cool people from all over the country: Santa Fe, NM; NYC, NY; Brookings, SD; Atlanta, GA; Minneapolis, MN; and now we have a whole network of people to keep in touch with regarding careers in creativity!

Left: front of card, Right: back of card. Copyright 2007 Hallmark Cards, Inc. For those who haven't met me, I'm the one in the third photo. We did a photo shoot with Hallmark's Photography Studio to get these fun pics! Note: Click on each card to enlarge and read each of our info. Enjoy!


Lorraine said...

I love them! Did you each design your own?

Anonymous said...

glad you like them! we each wrote in our own handwriting and posed for our pretty pics, but one of the girls (mary beth) designed them all. doesn't she rock?!

Katie Haugh said...

Those are awesome... and you all look so pretty! Tell Mary Beth I say HI!