Event Recap: Members Meeting – “What’s in Your Head?”

AIGA Santa Barbara’s first Members Meeting since 2012 (!) took place last week at Casa Las Palmas. It was a great opportunity to network and plan the future of AIGA SB for 2016 and beyond. We covered not only the state of the local chapter, but also the national organization (most of which mirrored takeaways from the Leadership Retreat in May): leadership and membership changes, new programs, and an expanded visual identity.

Locally, AIGA SB is the premier design organization for creative professionals on the Central Coast. Our current board of directors hails from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. Our chapter is small but has never stopped growing and indeed hit a membership all-time high in 2015. Financially, as a nonprofit we are dependent on generous sponsorships, but physical asset acquisitions in recent years have allowed us to increase event production value and attract high-profile guest speakers. This year’s events are literally all over the local map and are set to continue as such in the coming year.

Our recent board retreat yielded discussion about the challenges and solutions of describing AIGA’s intangible benefits (as opposed to immediate benefits). The board felt we needed a better story, a better “why” statement—and while it’s an ongoing discussion, we intend to focus on membership, sponsorship, and volunteering:

Join because these are your people: a local, regional, and national network of creative professionals. Sponsor because it shows you value quality work by supporting a quality organization. Volunteer because you can shape what happens. In a small chapter, a single volunteer can make a big difference! In summary, be a part of AIGA Santa Barbara to become a better creative professional, and to stay happy doing what you love, by making real connections with your peers and giving back to the community.

Chapter goals for 2016 are two-fold and substantial, but we believe they can all be accomplished with the right effort:

1) Grow the AIGA SB Community by: increasing event awareness and attendance; maintaining and growing the chapter’s reputation; acquiring additional sponsorship; reaching out to a wider range of creative professionals; continuing to be Santa Barbara-based while producing events around the region; programming more interactive/hands-on events; establishing a skill-sharing network for collaboration and mentorship; partnering with other local organizations like AAF, AIA, and StartupSB; increase our volunteer network, and continue giving back to causes in need where we can make a difference.

2) Maintain an active, strong Board of Directors. Consistent leadership is critical to a thriving chapter and creative community. The best way for us to do that is to be actively seeking dedicated volunteers to join us—because while the chapter’s come a long way, we can only go so far as we are. For our board and chapter to keep representing the creative community in a credible way, it’s important to fill three currently vacant roles: Vice President, Programming Director, and Education Director. Interested? Contact us to learn more about joining the Board.

Following the presentation, contributing members in attendance pitched their programming ideas for 2016 (view them here). We saw some great stuff, and will be implementing as many of those ideas as we can! Stay tuned to the AIGA SB web and social channels for updates on each of these topics. Thanks to the AIGA SB board for their tireless help with event production, and thanks to everyone who attended for their enthusiasm and feedback!

Event resources:
Presentation decktalking points (both PDFs) by AIGA SB President Keir DuBois
Facebook photo gallery (photos by David Cowan, Jennie Jacobs, and Melanie Bélanger)

By Keir DuBois
Published September 26, 2015
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