FAQs for 2017 AIGA Design Conference

Want to create authentic connections to each inspiring speaker, fellow creatives, and the larger design community? This year AIGA Design Conference announces a new Match program and a scholarship, both designed to help you fully take advantage of all the learning and networking opportunities embedded into the conference experience. Learn more below:

FAQs: AIGA Design Conference Match

What is Match?
Have you ever been to a conference and wished you could clone yourself to attend every talk? Or felt there wasn’t enough time in the day to meet the fascinating colleagues all around you? AIGA’s new program, Match, is designed to take the anxiety out of choosing which session to attend and to whom to introduce ourselves.

Here’s how it works: While registering, each conference attendee will be asked whether they’d like to opt into the program. If you opt in, you’ll categorize yourself into one of three levels of professional experience: 0–5 years, 5–15 years, or over 15 years. Before the conference, each participant will be notified of their Match with a designer in a category different from their own.

Matched with a peer, attendees will have an opportunity to experience the AIGA Design Conference from a different, shared perspective. They’ll get a chance to learn about sessions they couldn’t attend and hear from people they didn’t get to meet. Think of this as networking and learning combined, then squared.

What are my responsibilities as a Match?
In late September, you will be notified of your Match and given an email address to reach out to. Participants will be asked to communicate by email and/or phone in advance of the conference, as well as to meet up on site. As a Match, you commit to both remote and on-site conversation with your Match.

AIGA will also provide a list of suggestions on how to connect in Minneapolis (e.g., sit together during at least one event, meet up for coffee or lunch, introduce each other to at least three other people), as well as example questions and discussion topics to kick-start conversation.

Who can participate?
The program is open to all paid conference registrants.

How do I sign up?
When completing your conference registration, you will be asked to check a box to indicate your interest in participating.

Will I be paired with one Match?
Participants may be partnered with between one and three Matches. If you have multiple Matches, you are welcome to meet one-on-one or as a group.

What happens after the conference?
While there is no requirement to remain in touch with your Match after the conference, you may certainly continue to grow the professional relationship in a myriad of ways, from mentor-mentee to colleagues to simply as friends. You may also find opportunities for connection and mentorship through your local AIGA chapter.

FAQs: AIGA Design Conference Diversity Scholarship

What is the AIGA Design Conference Diversity Scholarship?
AIGA offers a scholarship to assist designers who could otherwise not attend the conference. The opportunity is dedicated to designers in the process of building their businesses, reputations, and brands. Recipients will experience the professional value of being part of the AIGA community first-hand.

As a part of AIGA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, this scholarship is available to designers who belong to underrepresented groups within the design profession/AIGA community.

When is the entry deadline?
The scholarship entry will close August 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Current AIGA member. Not a member? Join today.
  • Over the age of 22
  • Belong to underrepresented groups within the design profession/AIGA community. The scholarship is open to members who identify as one or more of the following: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ, persons with a disability.
  • Not a current member of AIGA's national board of directors or an AIGA chapter board of directors
  • No more than one member from the same institution, company, or group membership may receive a scholarship in a single year
  • If a recipient is unable to attend the conference, AIGA may select another recipient
  • Recipients are not eligible to apply for a scholarship the year immediately following their award

How do I apply?
Please click here to begin your application. Applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Short description of their professional history and career goals
  2. Statement about how and why attending the Design Conference would help them meet those goals
  3. Link to an online portfolio

What does the scholarship cover?
Scholarships cover annual conference registration costs only. Recipients are responsible for their travel and accommodations.

How many scholarships will be awarded?
AIGA will award at least three and as many as five scholarships.

Who evaluates the applications?
Applications will be judged by a small committee composed of members of AIGA’s Diversity and Inclusion task force.

When will I find out if I have been awarded a scholarship?
All applicants will be notified of their status in early September.

General FAQs

Am I eligible for the educator rate?
The educator rate is available to AIGA members who identify as educators in the AIGA design community. The rate is determined by your current membership status.

Am I eligible for the student rate?
The student rate is available to AIGA members who identify as students in the AIGA design community. The rate is determined by your current membership status.

Can I register by mail?
If you prefer to register by mail or fax, a PDF form is available by request: please email AIGA_registrar[at]aiga.org; a $25 per-person processing fee applies.

Can we get a discount for group registrations?
Groups of 4 or more* registering together will receive a 10% discount off their registration rates.

*Group discounts do not apply to registrations at the student or educator rates.

Cancellations of one or more registrations are subject to AIGA’s cancellation policy. Group discounts are available only to groups of four or more. If a cancellation brings the total group size to fewer than four attendees, remaining registrants will be charged at the full registration rate.

Can I buy a one-day pass to the conference?
AIGA offers only full-conference registration to its events. The experience and the pricing for the conference are based on participants attending the entire conference. Based on experience, we have determined that it is neither economically nor administratively feasible for our small staff to offer partial registrations and to oversee compliance.

Do you offer any comp registrations?
We do not offer complimentary registrations to anyone, including board members and chapter leadership. This policy is based on a firm commitment to equity and fairness, out of respect to our customers who pay for the conference.

The registration fee for participants includes attendance at all conference general and symposia sessions, and all evening receptions. Continental breakfast and light refreshment breaks will be provided on Friday and Saturday. Lunch and dinner will be on your own. The fees are set to make the experience both memorable and affordable. Typically the per person cost of putting on the conference is about three times the registration fee.

Will videos from the conference stream or be published online?
As a benefit to AIGA’s 26,000 members, we aim to share content from the conference, to allow attendees to relive the experience and non-attendees to begin to sample the unbeatable experience. Details will be shared closer to the event dates.

Want more info on the conference? Find it on the 2017 AIGA Design Conference site.