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?


1 comment:

Nancy said...

Way to go, Nicolle!