Take Your Passion On The Road
Careers & Jobs 10 years ago No Comments

passion_on_the_road-title.gifMake travel your New Year’s Resolution. A new year brings new beginnings and new found energy. As you file away the previous year and focus on new goals, have you considered building some passion-enriching travel into your schedule? We love to travel. Near or far, traveling is magical. It expands your horizons. It introduces you to new people and cultures; it makes your life richer, fuller, and more exciting.

Cost Is Not An Excuse

We understand that traveling across the globe may be challenging with a tight student budget. However, where there is a will there is a way. You could pin beautiful photographs of Paris on your Travel Pinboard on Pinterest, or set up a savings account that will allow you to put away enough money to see the Eiffel Tower in person next year.

Traveling closer to home may be just as fascinating and rewarding. It’s not the miles traveled that matter, but the experiences and memories made when you get there. Take a road trip to visit a furniture manufacturing plant. Plan a weekend away and stay at a newly remodeled hotel just to see the fabulous design. Schedule a class-wide bus tour to a national design conference over spring break. The sky’s the limit, not your wallet.

There Is A Conference For Everything

Based on your interests, location and availability, the following are the most prominent conferences and design expositions in the country. Make a point of going to one of them this year. We promise, you will not regret it. Most of these events offer discounted or free student registration. They try to encourage the up-and-coming designers to attend the shows even before they graduate. Once you do, you will be sure to come back year after year. Trust us!

As we mentioned, we travel a lot. In fact, we will most likely be at some of these shows ourselves. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t think you should go, because “you don’t know anyone,” well…you just may. Check with us ahead of time. We would love to make your acquaintance.

Interested in retail design?
Attend: Global Shop
When: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Where: March 18-20, 2014
Website: globalshop.org

Interested in contract design?
Attend: NeoCon
Where: Chicago, Illinois, USA
When: June 9-11, 2014
Website: neocon.com

Interested in healthcare design?
Attend: Healthcare Design Conference
Where: San Diego, California, USA
When: November 15-18, 2014
Website: healthcaredesignmagazine.com

Interested in senior living design?
Attend: Environments for Aging
Where: Disneyland – Anaheim, California, USA
When: May 3-6, 2014
Website: environmentsforaging.com

Interested in sustainable design?
Attend: GreenBuild
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
When: October 22-24, 2014
Website: greenbuildexpo.org

Interested in hospitality design?
Attend: HD Expo
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
When: May 14-16, 2014
Website: hdexpo.com

Interested in contemporary design?
Attend: ICFF (International Conference Furniture Fair)
Where: New York, New York, USA
When: May 17-20, 2014
Website: icff.com

Interested in residential design?
Attend: High Point Market
Where: High Point, North Carolina, USA
When: April 5-10, 2014
Website: highpointmarket.org

Interested in kitchen and bath design?
Attend: KBIS (The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show)
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
When: Feb 4-6, 2014
Website: kbis.com

Start Close

For us, it’s only an hour and a half train ride to get to Chicago, so we of course always make it to NeoCon. How about you? Where are you located, and what industry events take place in a 60, 90, 120-mile radius? Target those first. Then, expand your horizons outward as you can afford it, money and time-wise.

Get Prepared

Before you go, do some research to maximize this wonderful opportunity. Maybe there is a keynote speaker you always wanted to hear in person or better yet, meet. Research them online, introduce yourself, and try connecting on social media platforms.

Review the educational schedule for free-of-charge sessions. Many of these conferences have schedules of parties, facility tours in the area, and other events such as local showroom tours.

If you are member of a nationwide organizations such as ASID or IIDA, they may be sponsoring a session, an awards program or a networking event…and they may offer free or discounted attendance to members. Leverage your membership and your student profile as much as you can.

It is invigorating and powerful to pluck yourself out of the comfort of your home/work/school zone and challenge your senses. Plan some travel into your year and change your life forever.

Aga Artka, Allied ASID, LEED AP, and Jenny Schrank, Allied ASID, work together to educate and motivate young design professionals to take charge of their lives and build careers of their dreams. They started a career building newsletter and are working on a career development publication, which is planned to be released in 2014.

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