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Recently, due to economic hardships, I moved from Portland, Oregon back to Phoenix, Arizona. Now that I'm settled back in here, I reached out to the IDSA to get in touch with the local design community here and network a bit.

Unfortunately, the local IDSA organizer said that they aren't meeting any more due to what was essentially ZERO interest whatsoever. :( Now I know a lot of people are not very happy with the services the IDSA offers, my experience with it back in Portland (particularly from the community standpoint) was rather positive, I must say. While I would have liked there to be more/any services relating with grooming & connecting talent to employers, the organizers were fantastic people who honestly cared about the direction of the organization and the contributors to design in the local PDX community. The 3X10 events were particularly fun and enlightening, chock full of interesting people.

You'd think for being a bigger market, there'd be at least some interest in having design related events. :? Does anyone else have any suggestions on other organizations, events, etc. might be a good place to network around these parts? The adage it's who you know and all that... and I definitely don't know much of anyone around here... not in any appropriate industries, anyway.


no_spec
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this is the fundamental problem with IDSA, lack of participation. And frankly the responsibility is yours to generate interest in design related events, if that's important to you. The rest of the local community might provide some support if enough excitement can draw them out.
I'm in the same boat in that all the local designers here are fairly comfortable in their careers and only percieve IDSA participation as a way to hand out business cards and little more.


Variant
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Posts: 92
Joined: November 4th, 2008, 1:11 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
this is the fundamental problem with IDSA, lack of participation. And frankly the responsibility is yours to generate interest in design related events, if that's important to you. The rest of the local community might provide some support if enough excitement can draw them out.

I'm in the same boat in that all the local designers here are fairly comfortable in their careers and only percieve IDSA participation as a way to hand out business cards and little more.


Well, that's the crux of it, isn't it? See, I'd be glad to pull my weight and bring things in, but I'm essentially new to the area with not much of a network to offer up to anyone.

I keep hearing the platitude over-and-over again about how networking is the best (some say only) way to getting into the job market but what does that mean to someone in industrial / mechanical / transportation design in Arizona? I've skimmed the meetup.com groups and not found anything there either. It's a vacuum.


no_spec
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IDSA National was held in Phoenix in 2008, I guess the recession killed any enthusiasm that started. Conferences are mostly Biz Development though.
the designers that are working today are probably all mid-level or higher and also slammed right now, this is IDSA's bane, Long hours and a family.
you may have to look outside ID for activitiy outside work...


Variant
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Posts: 92
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
...you may have to look outside ID for activitiy outside work...


Yeah, I've most definitely come to that conclusion. ID, specifically, is a though nut to crack. It just sucks because the status quo job advice hits a brick wall very quickly. Friends and colleagues (I have a few here) want to help, but they don't quite get why I just don't "join associations" or attend "industry events". There is a VERY BIG disconnect going on... I'm not sure why.

Thankfully, I'm interested in my specialized industries (cars, motorbikes, guitars) as much (if not more) than the simplified role of designer to begin with. I am aware of, and do attend, a lot of the local car culture events here: Auto shows, Pavilions Car meets, Coffee & Cars, Barrett Jackson Auction, etc. They haven't exactly been the best place to network in the past, as it's neigh impossible to nick people with connections to developing projects out of big pools of strangers... but it's better than nothing, right?

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I recommend using LinkedIn to find local connections - build your network around your goals. Also, you could check to see if groups like DMI, AIGA or AIA have active members in your area and lastly you could check out the arts scene (festivals, gallery displays & functions, etc) and you might find a decent number of like minded folks.
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Variant
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Posts: 92
Joined: November 4th, 2008, 1:11 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
I recommend using LinkedIn to find local connections - build your network around your goals.


Any suggestions on how to go about that? I've had a few people tell me to network into a job on LinkedIn, and to be honest, I don't have the foggiest on what that even means. :? I've been on the site for ages, but haven't found it to be the least bit intuitive.


Also, you could check to see if groups like DMI, AIGA or AIA have active members in your area...


Definitely. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll mine those resources for possibilities, for certain!


...and lastly you could check out the arts scene (festivals, gallery displays & functions, etc) and you might find a decent number of like minded folks.


Indeed. Actually, we're [Rude Boy! Motorbikes] planning on taking a couple of our prototypes down to the First Friday art walk here in Phoenix soon. First Friday and Final Friday are two of the bigger art events in the area. Granted, it's more for promotion of the brand to the potential customer base (it's pretty artsy-fartsy / hipstery, but then we make vintage motorized bicycles, so yeah... LOL!) than to network, but you never know, right?


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