Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Conference marginalia


I attended a district design conference which was held in Santa Monica, right here in LA. There were a lot of good talks and great ideas to take away from two days worth of presentations. After each of the past few conferences, I’ve tried to track down articles that might summarize either the salient points or maybe describe the overall experience, going beyond the presentations themselves.

Lots of people take notes (or in this particular case, since they’re designers, maybe they’re drawing…), but I don’t know how well any of the information gets shared, back at the office, if at all. I’m trying to decipher my own notes and hope to be able to share at least some of the meatier thoughts with my colleagues. We always wish that we could get digital copies of the presentations, but would that really help? The longer I wait, the harder it is to recapture the sense of urgency and passion of the speakers.

I found this on a table in the back of the main room and had to stop to take a photo of it. I’m not sure what it says about the attendee or the speaker. At a casual glance, I admit, it doesn’t seem to speak well of how things might have been going on-stage. After musing about it for a couple days, though, I think this represents the best part of conferences. You can’t predict or capture the marginalia – all the side conversations, chance meetings, and random thoughts that the presentations inspire.

It’s tough to get everyone together and involved in a region as vast as Los Angeles, but it's clear that it really is a small community. There was a lot of catching up, shaking hands, trading hugs and/or punches on shoulders, and talkin’ smack challenging neighboring offices to basketball games.

Good times.