The weather is finally creeping up to light-jacket-temperatures, the painted toenails are peeking out, the windows are cracked open, and we all could use a little inspiration to make it through these last few weeks of spring-y winter. Luckily, we live in one of the best areas for a creative kick in the pants – with a constant stream of events and classes and lively art scene, Boston is quick to inspire. We gathered a list of some upcoming events that might help declutter your mind and streamline your creative energy this season!
every other Tues. or Wed. . 6pm . Boston, MA
Don't let the website fool you - calligraphy is a true art form and a great way to learn more about the history and structure of lettering. Being familiar with typography will get you far, but spending time correcting your letterforms is the most thorough way to get up close and personal with the basis of all design.
An Event Apart
May 16-18 . Boston, MA
Finally, a conference for everyone! Developers, designers, clients, writers, and marketers alike all head to this event in May. In the constantly changing design and development industry, it's important for people to explore the boundaries of their skills and learn about how different areas work together. The talks cover a wide variety of topics, so everyone who attends leaves with some more knowledge in their pocket.
Designers + Geeks: Defining Product Culture at TED
Thursday, May 19 . 7pm . New York City, NY
A night of fun and inspiration, spearheaded by the feeder of inquisitive minds everywhere: TED. Come hear about staying motivated and open-minded when working in teams. The User Experience Lead at TED talks about how his Technology team has found the solutions needed to keep themselves united and converging towards their goals in a collaborative way.
Get Out the Vote Poster Design-a-Thon
Saturday, May 21 1pm . Boston, MA
A free members-only AIGA event focused around the topic of the moment: the Presidential Election. Whoever your candidate is, the AIGA thinks it's time to promote voter participation in a fun and creative way, so on the night of the Design-a-Thon, bring your ideas and create and submit your poster. Though you can submit beforehand, nothing compares to getting feedback and critique from your peers.
Design for the Senses
Thursday June 16 . 5:30pm . Boston, MA
Another AIGA event, this time open to nonmembers, Design for the Senses creates an evening of talks mixed with a sound and interaction workshop, finished off with drinks and mingling. And it's at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum? Count us in.
July 15 + 16 . Somerville, MA
Less of a "creative" event and more of a neighborhood event, ArtBeat has vendors, music, dance troupes, food and more. A day in a pedestrian-only Davis Square might be just the break from stuffy conferences and courses you're looking for. See what local makers are up to, and maybe get some ideas yourself!
Email Design Conference
August 15-17 . Boston, MA
How fun does this sound? The first ever conference centered around the design of emails - something we all deal with on a regular basis but is rarely in the spotlight. While the conference is launching in London and San Francisco as well, the Boston event has twice as many workshops and attendees, so get ready to learn!
September 8, 2016 . Boston, MA
TED Talks are the epitome of inspirational events, with speakers from vastly different backgrounds and experiences all giving concise talks on what they've learned. It's a room full of open minds and full notebooks and we're pretty sure no one has left disappointed.
Going to any of these events? Let us know how they are!
Spring cleaning isn't just for closet-owners and employees (see last week's post). Come May, it's about time you took a good look at your company - now is the time to evaluate your team, examine your workspace and make sure your processes and systems are squeaky clean.
1. Trim the fat.
It might be a little unpleasant, but there's a chance somebody might not be making the cut anymore. Take a look at last year's numbers, compare them to this year's, meditate on your team members and their strengths and weaknesses, and see where the gaps and the overlaps are. If you don't want to get rid of someone, consider hiring a freelancer to fill in the gaps, or discuss educational opportunities with your existing employees to pepper in some new skills.
2. Push it.
The idea of spring cleaning is to rid yourself of clutter and develop efficiency – an idea that translate to a company as well. The first step is done (see above), but the second step is to make sure your team has the tools needed to excel. Newer versions of programs available? It might seem like a hefty investment, but with the the speed of advancements these days, the most up-to-date tools might save your employees hours of time.
3. Glamorize snack carrots.
Get onboard the warm-weather-workout train your employees are riding, and spend the spring promoting a healthy lifestyle. Your employees could benefit from discounted gym membership or some bowls of fruit in the office break room, and the company, in turn, will find healthier employees are more productive.
4. Evaluate the workspace.
If we've learned anything, it's that just because it works for Facebook, doesn't mean it'll work for your company. Check in with people– are the open workspaces working for them? Are the cubicle walls a little claustrophobic? Office layout is crucial to the daily workflow and coworker interactions, so do your best to facilitate the success of your employees and put them in an environment to thrive (hint: natural light, plants, and supportive chairs).
5. Freshen up your company's social media accounts.
It's easy to begin with the year with great intentions of having a posting schedule and driving responses from followers with engaging content, but once May rolls around it's not always a top priority. If this is exactly what happened, don't fret! Just acknowledge that you don't need to post constantly and set up a reasonable schedule you'll actually stick to. Posting once a week is better than twice daily with an empty three month gap. Social media has become the first impression for a lot of companies, so why waste the opportunity with an outdated page?
Spend some time shining up your workplace and a stellar team will follow suit. Happy Spring!