Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Goal Complete: Successfully Speak at HOW

I've been to countless design conferences over the course of the last 10 + years, and HOW has always been the BIG ONE.

Did I have it as a lofty goal to speak at one?


Did I get accepted?


Did I follow-through and have a great experience?!


HOW is the pinnacle of design. A top source for inspiration with top speakers in the industry, a ton of tracks and endless information. I'm not sure how long they've been doing it, but they have now merged 4 conferences into one...so it's a pretty massive event. Much different than when I went 10 years ago as an attendee in Orlando, and even different than Vegas 5 years ago.

This year it took place in Boston, where I have been to attend a DMI Seminar before and one other time for Demandware training when I was at LE. Needless to say, Boston has only been known to me as a place to go to "work". This was no exception.

I did spend a big chunk of time working on my speech, but I also got to walk the area, meet up with a good friend and spend some much needed down time.

Session Description:

How to Work With Multiple Brands In-House - HDC

It can be difficult to foster an environment conditioned to multiple brands, teams, clients and philosophies all under one roof. Get an in-depth account of how to set up a good working environment, from when to share ideas and when to work independently, from in-house expert Nicolle Mueller. You’ll learn why it’s important for design’s role to be a partnership with merchandising, marketing and production in order to consistently provide a unique and customer-engaging experience.

You’ll get:
  • recommendations on ideal team structure
  • tips on marrying design flexibility in multiple brands
  • tools and advice for developing a creative partnership
In-House Staff

I have to admit, I was NERVOUS! I had a few technical issues to sort out ahead of time, and the room was huge. Now I know what it feels like to have over 400 people fill a room that you are standing up in front of. I tried to make it as interactive as I could, and actually created a Jeopardy board so people could get up and "ask questions" from it and I gave the answers. The hope was a more fluid and open dialogue based on key points. There were quite a few people who came up and asked questions, so that was a relief! It can be a lot to fill in an hour and 15 minutes of time!

When it was all said and done 5 or 6 people came up for conversation afterwards and I had a few reach out after I made it back home. It was a huge rush!

Plus, the organization really takes care of you. All expenses paid, a stipend, great accommodations and a free ride to the entire event!

In hindsight and now that I know what to expect, is it something I would do again?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Goal Complete: 30-Day Facebook Hiatus

It hasn't been difficult to do, since I closed my facebook account several months back, for many reasons.

Do I miss keeping up with friends and family and trolling around to read the latest updates?


Do I miss looking down at my watch and realizing I just spent an hour of my time and never actually reached out to anyone or made a connection so people know I am thinking of them?


I'm sure in a few months I'll be back on the drug, spending wasted minutes reading about Jim Bob's latest pet trick and Betty Sue's vacation to France, but in the meantime, I'm perfectly fine taking the time to call and text in order to keep communication. Is a text message the equivalent of snail mail 20 years ago? I'm sure there are still more virtual things to come that will make our communication much more efficient, but does it make our communication much BETTER?

That's the question.