AIGA Charlotte Rocks Omaha
June 03, 2008 Filed Under: Chapter News 4 Comments
This past weekend AIGA Charlotte Board members Banks Wilson of digital agency Studiobanks, Rachel Martin, Taylor Nall and I attended AIGA's National Leadership Retreat in Omaha, Nebraska. The Retreat is a opportunity for AIGA Board members to receive training and inspiration, as well as, connect with Board members from across the country. It is attended by 3-6 Board members from every Chapter, as well as, AIGA's National Board members.
I was invited to present a Success Story on Charlotte's diversity of Events. Our presentation discussed the seven event series Charlotte offers and showcased the branding created for each of these series. The hook of our presentation was our Project Mullet initiative. Over the past year our Chapter has been concentrating on creating a balance between the professional needs of our members and need to keep our offerings fun and inspiring. Business in the Front and Party in the Back. Our presentation used a Mullet Meter to show where each event series fell on a spectrum between "business in the front" and "party in the back". Many laughs were had and the compliments on our presentation poured in. We received generous compliments from almost every attendee we spoke with. Some attendees even cited our presentation and what our Chapter has achieved as the most inspiring part of the entire retreat.
Scott McClure (from AIGA Raleigh) and I presented a workshop on Event Planning. It was extremely popular and well received. Many people chose to attend the session because they were so impressed by AIGA Charlotte's Success Story. Even National Board member Debbie Millman attended our session! (no pressure). Scott and I received many kudos for giving an informational and inspiring workshop. Scott also presented a highly inspirational Success Story on AIGA Raleigh's re|think poster competition. Go North Carolina!
After expressing interest in AIGA's thoughts on creating a national structure for awards competitions, Banks was unofficially elected the leader of a task force to form an initiative to achieve national recognition for local AIGA awards shows. He is proposing a structure in which local competition winners would move on to then compete nationally. Already more than a dozen chapters have expressed their support of this initiative.
We received fabulous compliments on our new website and its functionality... which made Taylor and Banks very popular with the webmasters at the retreat! Ric Grefé complimented Rachel on the incredible growth in membership she has spearheaded over the past six months (AIGA Charlotte is currently 174 members strong!).
After hours AIGA Charlotte was the life of the party. The first evening of the retreat we attended an icebreaker party. Each Chapter was asked to wear a costume representing their city. The guys dressed as NASCAR drivers, while Rachel and I dressed as NASCAR fans. Our costumes were a hilarious success and many people commented that we were robbed when we didn't win the Best Costume award. Other highlights included: taking a late night horse-cart ride around Omaha's Old Market, and participating in a human pyramids throughout the weekend (a craze started by AIGA Minnesota's Lauren Addy) -- even Ric Grefé jumped in to help create a pyramid! We attended a reception at Omaha's Joslyn Museum sponsored by Adobe and a reception at Henry Doorly Zoo’s TreeTops Restaurant/Lied Jungle sponsored by AIGA Portland.
Overall we really made our mark on AIGA Nationally and made sure to put Charlotte and -- jointly with the amazing accomplishments of AIGA Raleigh -- North Carolina on the design map!
We'd like to give a special thank you to Al at RacingMetal.com for graciously providing the racing suits worn for the ice breaker party. RacingMetal.com is popular among local and national race fans for their authentic racing memorabilia.
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