In-house INtelligence: The 24/7 Conference

The InHOWse Conference was an inspiring and informative event that provided great value. This was made possible because of the tremendous time, thought and energy poured into the event by HOW’s dedicated staff and they deserve a heartfelt thank you from all who attended.

Now that HOW has done its part, those who benefitted from the conference need to do theirs.  Sitting in on the sessions was easy. Some took a next step and raised their hands as a sign of committing to taking on specific projects to better their teams and themselves. Fewer actively participated in dialog and, frankly, I’m afraid fewer still will take what they learned and put it into play at their places of work. If they don’t, an amazing opportunity will have been wasted.

That opportunity is to address the many critical challenges facing the in-house community that were discussed during and between the conference presentations. Staying engaged with peers is the best way to ensure that the passion and commitment generated at the conference is kept alive. Recognizing that, HOW has generously underwritten an initiative designed to support the conference attendees beyond the event.

Called “Full House” (playing cards were used to help organize the initiative), Ning communities of 20 or so members are being set up to provide a venue for dialog among the members of each group. In addition to the organic exchange of ideas that will occur within the communities, each group will be invited to take on an issue relevant to in-house and through their collective efforts propose a solution to be shared with our colleagues through the InHOWse blog.

Over time, in-house designers who weren’t fortunate enough to attend the conference may be invited to join in the Full House communities. For them and even for those in the Full House group, AIGA and InSource provide excellent opportunities to meet and engage with other innies.

Imagine the inspiration and information that conferences provide available to you 24/7. It is possible when we all commit ourselves to the group and the group commits itself to us.

6 thoughts on “In-house INtelligence: The 24/7 Conference

  1. edr3

    I have attended numerous AIGA conferences and found those experiences to be aspirational. At those conferences I had the great opportunity to listen to Stefan Sagmeister discuss his year long sabbatical of self discovery in Bali and pontificate the personal gratification and benefits of designing for a charitable cause with Milton Glaser, very aspirational.

    This year I decided to forego another year of aspiration and try something different. So I came to the InHOWse Design Live Conference in Chicago. I’m glad I did; at the close of the conference I felt completely inspired. The pre-conference workshops were unexpected and refreshingly hands-on. The speakers and panelists were made up of successful “working” designers that spoke in terms that I could relate to my day-to-day experiences working in-house. Plus the camaraderie formed among attendees between and during conference sessions was priceless.

    Will I attend another AIGA Conference, absolutely. Your head should be in the clouds from time to time. Will I attend another InHOWse Design Live conference, abso@$#%inglutely! My job in-house requires my feet to be on the ground most of the time.

  2. edr3

    At the conference you challenged us to grab the baton and essentially run with it all the way home; so I did. On Thursday I attended an all day managers meeting with the CEO and when the discussion veered towards the state of our website and search engine optimization, I dropped a big old statistical knowledge bomb learned from one of the InHOWse Design Live sessions. My manager was impressed with the information and the COO said he’d like to hear more of my thoughts in upcoming meetings. I’d consider this a small victory while at the table.

    1. Andy Epstein Post author

      That is by no means a small victory. A big door just opened up for you. Stay in touch with your peers – the most important part of your job is just beginning…

  3. Sarah

    I cherished the time I got to spend at the last HOW conference in Denver, so I wait for the day when this collaboration channel is opened up to people who can’t afford to attend the conference every year.

    Immediately upon returning from the HOW conference last year, I put into practice Sam Harrison’s idea of “How to sell to your bosses” and Maria Giudice’s advice on team collaboration. I was able to sell my VPs and even President on trying a new external advertising approach. The teamwork and brainstorming methods learned at HOW made the ideation stage actually fun, and our brainstorming results supported our goal for the project, so the “sell” was painless since the VPs could “see our work.”

    The project itself was so innovative in our market, it landed a spot on the local television station. The methods we used for this ad campaign are now prevalent throughout the whole organization’s materials, print and digital.

    So, yeah, the HOW conference was definitely worth it!