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Celebrate with Studio & Hold Final Expo


Introduction

Celebrate the impact created by your teams and the studio and inspire members to continue applying their skills as they become design innovators! Hold a final expo to push projects even further by connecting them with local mentors, recognize users and community partners, and inspire the community. Bond with the studio by congratulating all members, thanking past leads, and having a time for teams to reflect and learn from their work.

Output: Hold a final expo to celebrate end of projects + a studio bonding event to celebrate end of term.

Effective ways to celebrate the end of term with your studio and hold a final expo:

  1. Confirm the goals and dates for a final expo and a bonding event.
    • Review your original dates for both events, which you set during term planning. If you need to change the date for the expo, be sure to notify teams and guests at least 1-month ahead so they can plan accordingly
  2. Clearly define the goals of each event.
    • The events should build your community, celebrate the impact your studio created, and help members walk away with the confidence to use design for social good!
    • At the Expo, celebrate project success and highlight impact they have created and connect teams to mentors and partners so they can create further impact and think about concrete next steps. Make sure you invite the community to grow the network and recognize partners and mentors for their awesome contribution.
    • At the Studio Bonding event, congratulate all members for their achievements and hard work this term! Thank seniors and past leaders for their contributions. Have time for members to reflect and learn from their work. Celebrate with each other, have some fun, and help your studio members get to know each other!
  3. Finalize logistics for the expo and prepare teams!
    • How will teams present? Teams can present expo style, give quick pitch presentations (5 minutes of pitch/short slides) followed by a meet and greet, formal presentation style (10 minutes of presentation with individual feedback after each one) etc.
    • How will teams receive feedback? Teams can receive verbal and/or written feedback. If it is verbal, make sure someone on the team writes it down.
    • Logistics: Room set up, AV, Sound, Poster/display boards for teams to put up visuals, food and refreshments!
  4. Invite your community to push projects even further and celebrate team’s accomplishments.
    • Invite your users, community partners, mentors, professors, department heads, Influential people on your campus, and, of course, your studio!
    • Send invites out to professionals at least a month ahead!
      • Date, time, location. Update guests if any of these things changes.
  5. Help teams prepare to highlight their impact.
  6. Showcase your teams at the Expo.
    • Introduce your studio to your guests by sharing your studio’s vision and goals. Don’t forget to introduce the leads, teams, mentors, and partners as well.
    • Thank your mentors and partners for all their work. This is a great chance to give them some mic time so they can share their final thoughts. Check out “Thank network” for tips on giving a quick memento to your supporters.
    • Congratulate all the members and leaders for everything they have accomplished this term!  
    • Document the event. Take pictures, tweet, live stream etc.
      • Don’t forget to take a group picture :^)
  7. Take a moment to reflect on your experiences and wrap up the projects!
    • Outside of giving a chance for reflection and feedback at your expo, check out “Reflect and plan next term” for tips on ways to receive member feedback and synthesize them to use when planning next term. You can use a wall where people can add their ‘I like…’ and ‘I wish…’ for the studio or a few minutes for anyone to share their feedbacks.
  8. Celebrate with the studio and thank past leads & seniors at the Studio Bonding event.
    • Go grab ice cream, dinner, a little gathering at someone’s place!
    • This is the time for the past leads to share some final thoughts on their experience being in DFA! 

Network Best Practices

Hold a campus-wide expo like DFA Northwestern

As DFA Northwestern wrap up projects in an expo at the end of every quarter, the studio saw an opportunity to coordinate a design expo in partnership with Segal and make this expo open to any students who would like to showcase their work. At the end of fall and winter quarter, DFA Northwestern joins the design expo held by Segal Design Institute where they receive feedback from mentors, guests, and other students in the design/engineering program. However, Segal does not hold one in spring quarter due to logistical reasons. Coordinating with Segal simplified the process of securing space, inviting guests, and getting food and refreshments; the leadership team reached out to students and figured out the logistics of the space and set up. They had a successful event with huge turnout on both students and professionals!


Thank members and graduating seniors like DFA MSU

At the end of the year, MSU wrote up a brief reflection of the history of their studio and celebrated their growth over the past couple years. They also thanked the seniors for their contribution as well. Check out their thank you’s here!