AIGA – Day 1

aiga_design_conference_2005.gifI’ve run several large events in similar size venues as the main stage for AIGA’s Design Conference but none nearly as elaborate. Video is what really make it hard. There are nine video projectors if you count what is in the living room. Two video cameras so the people in the back can see and seven laptops backstage to make everything work. Switching the feed being output is crazy and it must take a lot of experience to make it run well.

We had a couple of snags backstage with a couple of graphics shown out of order but over all everything was really smooth. I found the mistakes a bit more jarring but I guess that’s just because I wasn’t used to it. Michelle Stanek has been running the show backstage and has been doing an amazing job and has been great at using me as support to make the show run well. I really feel as if I’m helping things run and not just being a waste of space and some times volunteering can seem like. I think it would be awesome to have her job though I haven’t asked how they plan it. If they have one central office or if they just are always calling from all over the nation.

aigadc2005, aiga, graphic design, boston, event programming

Gaphic Design should be more then just print design

aiga_design_conference_2005.gifKottke’s computer is lonely and I’m not all that surprised. The more I work with the AIGA volunteers I really feel that graphic design is really only print design. The fact that I just carried back about 20 pounds of paper samples (I don’t print but I am a freebie whore) isn’t helping my attitude. I think of graphic design as so much more. I think at least any kind of graphics with a commercial focus is graphic design and I’m sure more can be. I want to get more involved with AIGA (perhaps because, like CUB, they have the most money) and I hope to bring a lot more of a web edge to the organization.

If only I had a laptop I would have love to get some of the techy conference feel to it. AIGA’s current try for interaction with the crowd is limited to a wall where people can hang sketches. A good start but not exaxtly the 21st century. John Hockenberry had the essence of the right idea when he talked about emailing his phone and calling people in the crowd for feed back. I’m still not sure if that was a joke or not.

kottke, aigadc2005, aiga, graphic design, boston

AIGA – Day negative 2

aiga_design_conference_2005.gifToday was the volunteer orientation with only 2 days to get everything ready for Thursday and the start of the conference. The Hynes convention center is rather large and will have no problem holding the 2,300 attendees. The conference is split between 2 floors with the living room and market place on the 1st floor and the main conference hall is on the 3rd floor. The AIGA staff are really worried about getting people back and forth from the focus sessions since people will probably get lost trying to find there way around. Most of the focus session rooms on the 1st floor are not that big and might fill up quicker then the ones on the 3rd floor which are larger rooms. If you are planning to go to one of the events on the 1st floor be sure to get there as early as possible or you might be locked out. The layout of the building can also be circular and so getting turned around might be a problem as well. Be sure to take a tour of the building when you get there so you know where most of the rooms are.

Dorothy gave a long over view of the events going on at the conference and made it sound twice more exciting then it looks on paper. I was hoping to meet more people from Boston in the volunteer staff but I guess I underestimated how far people will come from to volunteer, the answer being just about everywhere but Alaska and Hawaii.

If you are an AIGA member with little cash to spare and can still make it to Boston I suggest trying to get the living room pass for $350. They are broadcasting everything on the main stage and then showing other cool stuff in between. You miss out on the focus sessions but you get almost the whole conference experience for half the price. Not to mention that the living room has nice couches while the main stage has crappy chairs. And yes the entire building will have wifi.

If you have any general questions I will be happy to answer them from what I’ve learned so far. Anything specific really should be directed to the official AIGA Design Conference site. At the conference look for people in the non breathing plastic white jackets that all AIGA staff will be wearing.

aigadc2005, AIGA, boston

AIGA Design Conference and Jason Kottke

Excuse me while I freak out, but I think I deserve it. Beyond actually finding a job the one thing I’m excited about is the AIGA Design Conference here in Boston that I’ve volunteered to help run. With all my large event experience I begged and pleaded to be give tons of responsibility. As every one who runs large scale events knows there is no larger responsibility then being able to properly coil cords or know the correct way to gaffer tape down wires.

Well AIGA was listening because I seem to be on the main stage almost the entire conference and I’m more excited then ever. When not placing water on the stage for Milton Glaser I also get to play with the A/V equipment and I get to do that for over 10 hours 3 days in a row (They’ve promised breaks). Looking at the list of over 60 volunteers it also seems that I am the lone backstage guru and I hope to make a huge difference… and then get elected AIGA president (that’s how it works right?).

So I’m all aglow and excited about a week of so much work I’m going to pass out when I read that Jason Kottke is also going to be at the AIGA Design Conference. Gasp! While I promise not to scream like a 12 year old girl (and my current Degrassi addiction is not upholding that claim) I just might if I meet Jason in the halls. He’s going as a… well, a professional blogger and while I too will be talking all about behind the scenes at AIGA Design Conference 2005 Jason will have some sort of laptop to blog with while I will have to do my blogging from home (at like 11pm when i get home most days). That is unless Jason feels like sharing (He’s so afraid of me right now). Hope to see you there Jason!

On more serious note, I’m interested in AIGA’s invitation to Kottke. As a designer just out of college I had gotten the impression that AIGA is not very big in the field in web design. It just seems like a sea of print designers. I have yet to figure out if AIGA does pay attention to web designers or if by inviting Kottke they are hoping to use his stardom to help give more focus to web design. Either way unless AIGA convinces me there is a lot for a web designer to gain by being a dues paying member I will not be returning for another year since I am currently poor.

aigadc2005, AIGA, kottke, boston

7 Eleven not 24 hours?

The offending 7 eleven I’ve come here from a land of 24 hours. A place where diners provided food and some of their best service after 2am. A kingdom where convenience stores never close yet always seemed to have the same employees working there.So last night I’m walking to the local 7 Eleven at 11:30 and what do I find? They closed at 11:30? A 7 Eleven? Do they all do that in Boston? I must say I was rather comforted by the fact that I could go to 7 Eleven when ever I want. Native New Jerseyans know the inverse proportion of how late it is and how much ice cream you want.

I’ll continue to hope last night was a fluke and the man behind the counter simply had to go to the bathroom and that all the lights need to be turned off to hide the super secret door that the public is not meant to know about.

Update: It turns out the hours are till 12am on weekdays (they totally closed at 11:30 on day) and till 2 or 3am on the weekends. I have a feeling most other 7 Elevens in Boston work that way and yet some many listings have them as a 24 hour store. Bah!

7 eleven, boston, new jersey,24 hours