The programming at this year’s GAIN conference included precious few in-house speakers and case studies, especially when compared with past AIGA events. There is no conspiracy here on AIGA’s part – it’s actually quite the opposite. AIGA has acknowledged very publicly that the organization wants to better serve the in-house community and has been devoting resources to that effort. AIGA recognizes it’s in the group’s best interest as in-house designers are actually a majority of practicing designers in the US today.
What this unintentional oversight illustrates is the lack of involvement in AIGA on the part of the in-house community relative to the proportion of “innies” to “outties”. I certainly don’t mean to imply that there aren’t in-house designers working very hard within AIGA to support their peers, but if more in-house designers commit to an AIGA membership and active participation in their local chapters, there will be a sea change in the focus of the organization. In addition, if you have ideas or suggestions on how AIGA might better serve the in-house community, please don’t hesitate to respond to this post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like any non-profit that’s supported primarily by volunteers, AIGA cannot function without a committed membership. As the saying goes, you’ll only get out of it what you put into it. Actually, that’s a gross understatement. You’ll get much more as an active volunteer than you give – but you have to take those 2 first steps to join and participate.