But honestly, aside from attending meetings, paying my dues, paying to get into shows, etc., I have no clue how or what else I could do to "put back in".
What more do you want? So far, I have heard IDSA needs forums, and blogs and maybe meetings with pizza? PaulH put it extremely well. IDSA, or any other organization is NOT about instant gratification. I want this, I want that, and I want it now. I want to SEE where my money is going.
C'mon. There's a point where if you decide that all of the "bureaucratic crap" that PaulH refers to is all too institutional, than by all means I agree that IDSA is not for you.
Maybe the long and short of it is that IDSA is for the entrepreneurial minded designers. Those that are running businesses. Those that are trying to sell their wares. Those that aren't just thinking about how to spend the next paycheque.
If you want more out of IDSA and PaulH's contribution to this discussion doesn't make you drool with anticipation thinking the next function I go to is going to land that next big job/opportunity, then I don't get what you are complaining about.
Simply put......What, specifically, do you want from IDSA? Formalize your ideas/thoughts. Send an email to the board and see if you get a reaction. Go to the next function and corner the people in charge and let them know you want more, and state how and why.
If you are wondering what more you can do, email the board and tell them you are needing more from IDSA, but don't know what you can do. I am sure they could find something for you to contribute towards.
Methinks lobbying doesn't stop with Business week.