Community Personal Projects

Researching our communities, part 5: Field trips & recommendations

This is the final in a series of posts analyzing event attendance in the Austin design community. You can jump to any post using the links below.

Also, be sure to read the caveats for this analysis.

Today we turn our attention to a final type of event, field trips.  We then provide a set of recommendations for improving your local community, wherever you are.

Field Trips (57 respondents)

Field Trip research marketing iterationWhile it is not uncommon to hold events at company offices, it is less common to hear from a member of that company about the work that goes on in there.  That being said, there is clearly a subgroup of the community who is interested in seeing how the sausage is made.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, these people show higher than average interest in marketing and research.  Contextual inquiry, anyone?




Our data show that on the whole, there are not a lot of major differences between people who attend various types of events.  But there are enough to suggest that it may be worthwhile to tailor events for the type of attendee you hope to draw.  The Austin design community shows a need for workshops that involve critiquing and research techniques, for well-advertised happy hours, and for company events that discuss logistics.  But moreover, there is a need to continue to learn about our community, to better understand what all of us need professionally and how professional organizations can provide for these goals.

If you are a group organizer, I urge you to start documenting your event attendance and to ask your members what they want.  If you are a community member (and especially if you are not), I encourage you to reach out to your local group organizers and let them know what your needs are.  We’re only as good as our data.

Thanks for sticking with me throughout the week.  If you are interested in reading more, consider picking up a copy of Vitorio’s essay in Distance.

I’ve enjoyed working on this project and feel that it’s helped me to gain a better understanding of the Austin design community.  And I’ve gotten an inkling of how to make it a little better.  If you have any thoughts about this project, or if you’d like to do something similar in your own community, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.