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Conference Preference?

Postby pjbowers » November 30th, 2016, 4:57 pm

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What has been your favorite Industrial Design conference? What skills did you take away?

Re: Conference Preference?

Postby yo » November 30th, 2016, 7:01 pm

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I have to say I really enjoyed the core77 conference!

Re: Conference Preference?

Postby pjbowers » December 1st, 2016, 8:44 am

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That made the shortlist! Is there information on the conference for 2017?

Re: Conference Preference?

Postby iab » December 1st, 2016, 9:05 am


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yo wrote:I have to say I really enjoyed the core77 conference!


OK, you're old enough for me to call you old. Did you learn anything?

I go to a lot of medical conferences and I learn a lot because I am not directly in their field. As an outsider, it is a great place to learn something new. I find it worth my time to attend such an event.

But having a couple years under my belt (a nice way of calling me old), I struggle to find a design/innovation conference where I actually learn something new. They are all geared for the fresh meat, which is fine, but I don't get much out of it other than being amused. Sure, the case studies are interesting, but they rarely have a nugget I haven't heard.

I've been to Mayo's Transform twice over the last 7(?) years. I mean it's the friggin Mayo Clinic. They are supposed to be the bleeding edge. And for the healthcare clinicians attending, I bet they learn a lot. Kind of a role reversal to me going to their conferences. But I won't go back to Transform for at least another 5-7 years because only then will I be willing to give them another chance to disappoint me. It is really fundamental design stuff. Sure, they will use the latest buzz words, but that is just marketing spin.

Back to the OP. Sorry for the hijack. I would attend the conferences in the area where you design. I go to conferences for diagnostic equipment, radiology equipment, surgical equipment, wound care and infection control. If you design cars, go to a conference about infrastructure. If you design kitchen equipment, go to a chef's conference. Find out where key opinion leaders talk, show posters and go there.

Re: Conference Preference?

Postby yo » December 1st, 2016, 2:45 pm

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The second day workshops I didn't learn anything new. The first day was more of a machine gun style series of TED talks, 30 mins back to back, which I prefer as I have a short attention span and if there is a break I'm likely to go wander off. One talk I really enjoyed was on distributed teams and made me think about our process and how we do business.... but I mainly go to these things for the parties. And that part was really good :-)

There were a couple of times I had to resist my alpha ways that were telling me to go up on stage and tell the presenter that's not how you do it... I'm sure it would been hilarious, but self destructive. When you have been a professional for close to 20 years and someone a few years out of school is presenting to a bunch of kids still in school your perspective can feel a bit odd.

Re: Conference Preference?

Postby cwatkinson » March 20th, 2017, 8:32 am


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There were a couple of times I had to resist my alpha ways that were telling me to go up on stage and tell the presenter that's not how you do it... I'm sure it would been hilarious, but self destructive. When you have been a professional for close to 20 years and someone a few years out of school is presenting to a bunch of kids still in school your perspective can feel a bit odd.[/quote]


Been there, felt the same way. Over came my compulsion.

Re: Conference Preference?

Postby Mr-914 » March 22nd, 2017, 1:42 pm

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I've been to two regional IDSA conferences, an IDSA environmental design conference and one IDSA national conference.

The conferences themselves were all mixed bags. Learned some stuff, saw a lot of stuff I already knew, saw some stuff that just confused me.

The invaluable part was always the mingling. I know designers in Canada and our problems, but it was fun sitting next to someone from a world leading manufacturer or consultant and hearing about what they go through. It was also great getting to hob knob with people working their way up the management chain and gleaming some insights from that.

If I could take a 6 month sabatical to work full time on a conference, I think I'd try to find a way to merge the mingling and workshops. They tried this at the national I went to (breaking out into groups of 20 to discuss issues). However, I feel like there must be a way to take it one step further.

Also, I'd like to see more non-design material. I know people who sketch better than me, who do more research than me and who have designed more sheet metal enclosures than me. I have that network to support my design knowledge. What I don't have is the insights into management, psychology, marketing. I think my ideal line up of speakers would be 30% design + 70% other.
Ray Jepson

"The key to success in this business is to find a boss who doesn't care." - Mike Rowe

Re: Conference Preference?

Postby yo » March 22nd, 2017, 5:14 pm

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I think the balance there is I've been to conferences with 70% other, and it was way other, as in un related. I agree with your ratio, but I think the other bucket should be things like you said" marketing strategy, leadership, getting alignment to design language systems, writing proposals and estimating time and cost, invoicing and getting people to pay...

Re: Conference Preference?

Postby Mr-914 » March 24th, 2017, 11:13 am

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yo wrote:I think the balance there is I've been to conferences with 70% other, and it was way other, as in un related. I agree with your ratio, but I think the other bucket should be things like you said" marketing strategy, leadership, getting alignment to design language systems, writing proposals and estimating time and cost, invoicing and getting people to pay...


I was imagine if I was selecting the "other". True, it could go very bad if it is too off topic!
Ray Jepson

"The key to success in this business is to find a boss who doesn't care." - Mike Rowe

Re: Conference Preference?

Postby yo » Yesterday, 5:45 pm

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I went to an IDSA national once were the keynote was a war photojournalist. He started is talk with "I've never heard of Industrial Design and I have no idea what it is or why you would ask me to be here... but here is my work..." ... yah, too far.


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