I became a committee member and the program designer for Intersect: Diversity and Leadership Conference in September 2012. The Intersect Conference has been hosted by Elon University’s Center for Leadership and Multicultural Center in the spring for since 2009, although initially it was known as the Diversity Leadership Conference. In 2013, the Intersect: Diversity and Leadership Conference was held on February 22nd-23rd. In preparation for the conference I was charged to create several documents and aid in event management on the conference days. Intersect focuses on four pillars: Power & Privilege, Social Change, Oppression, and Organizational Development. The goal of the conference is to encourage and develop tactics for effective dialogue to create a discourse community in which participants can further their understanding of diversity and leadership.
Each product was created for a specific purpose. The post card save the date was mailed to Elon University students as well as handed out to those interested in the conference outside of the Elon-Burlington area. The event opens itself up to business people and other higher level education institutes because of it’s broad focus; the postcard, therefore, had to be open and of interest. The picture on the front was taken specifically for the purpose of this type of document a year ahead of time. The postcard experiences the lowest visual intensity of my projects as Program Designer because it’s purpose was to entice the audience to visit the website and learn more about the conference online. The Intersect 2013 Conference poster and the Local Yogurt Profit-share poster had higher visual intensity because their purpose was to inform viewers about the events as well and entice them to learn more from our Facebook page or website.
The visual intensity changed how I organized the document. It was important during the process for me to be concerned with elements of visual language because the formatting (the organization of information on a page) heavily impacts the readability of the document. Emphasis was important in posters distributed around campus because key words would garner attention. Due to the heavy text over graphics combination, spatial hierarchy (white space and font sizes) became crucial.
One of the advantages to being a part of the conference committee was my ability to practice individuation; during the conference I could see how my strengths had impacted the organizations interactions as had my other committee members. Debriefs following profit shares and the conference opened up active conversation on how to improve the conference for the future.
Working on the Intersect committee as a program designer has been my first opportunity to practice event management as well and print and digital deliverable management. Following the end of the conference I was better able to understand the audience I had been addressing with my print projects. One of the suggestions I would like to submit for future conferences though is to use a survey to gauge how the participants were attracted to the conference. That data could then be used to expand the jobs requirements for the program designer experience.