Bryan’s Take: 2018 SEGD Conference

We’re designers, dreamers, and doers by trade and heart. This level of thinking often impacts the brands we work with, the partners we leverage, and the work we create.

It allows us to create the WOW factor while at the same time keeping true to strategy, budgets and timelines.

This why we call ourselves an adaptable agency… Because we’re able to foster our thinking to ensure we’re looking at all angles when designing a brand experience, be it retail, financial, themed entertainment, or within a corporate communications setting.

Enter the 2018 SEGD Conference!

With Bryan attending, we’re getting the inside scoop from the current SEGD President in an interactive, conversational way.

 What made this year’s conference so special?

Bryan: By far this had been one of the best SEGD Conferences I have attended. Not to take away anything from previous years, but this year you could clearly see the progression of how we are challenging the boundaries of experience design.

Since we changed the word “Environmental” to “Experience” we are at times, as a community, struggling to understand what that change actually means. Understandable as it is a big shift in perception. No longer is SEGD a community solely focused on traditional EGD, but a community seeing a record number of young designers and students attending that are all eager to hone their craft of telling stories through a multi-discipline approach.

There are so many highlights but the ones that stood out for me were:

  • Listening to Jane Davis Doggett talk about the evolution of wayfinding and the challenges she encountered as a woman in the profession
  • Wayne Hunt talking about the evolution of his career
  • THERE (Agency from Sydney) talking about the evolution of workplace branding
  • Seeing our client Merlin Entertainment be honored for their commitment to Experience design by receiving the Insight Award
  • The City of Minneapolis! What a wonderful backdrop for us… And that stadium!
  • One memory that really sticks out is… One evening a group of us found a speakeasy (you know me, always up for a good bar). So here I am with other senior designers and off to the corner I spot a group of young designers hanging out and just enjoying being part of the community. Looking at them, with their young creative genius at tow made me feel great because I could see the next generation of leaders in the community.
  • Speaking of young designers, The Young Designers Summit was amazing.

 #Prezaros… What’s your overall perspective on this years conference?

Bryan: Talk about a surreal moment… Here I am (the youngest president in SEGD Hhistory) on stage greeting several hundred designers from around the world.

When I joined the organization in 2012 never did I imagine being in this position. I was just honored to be in the presence of designers who I admired and look towards for inspiration. It’s very humbling to see the support of the community and reaction from everyone the moment the conference kicked off.

It’s also interesting for me, having gone the way of a “digital practitioner” and to be in this situation where I am stepping into the role of president, not having come from a traditional design background.

I think it shows how far SEGD has come and hopefully that is a sign as to where it can grow to in the future!

 Why do brands need to focus on design moving into 2019 and beyond?

Bryan: It’s all about storytelling and creating immersive environments that connect the audience to the brand. For OEG, we’re all about creating that “theatrical experience’.

That experience that leaves us wanting more and eager to share with others in a loop of brand advocacy and consumer delight.