The annual portfolio review at the IDSA International Conference is a unique opportunity to showcase your talents, projects and personality to a diverse audience of design professionals all looking for their next great hire. Take advantage of this event to network with peers and hiring managers and fill your contact list with names of people you'll be working with in the future.
The portfolio review is organized in a social and informal fashion. The dress code is business casual, so look good, but no need to wear a suit. We'll set up a room with tables where you can display your work. Typically there are two people for each table. Participants will have a few minutes to come in and get organized before the event begins, so mark sure to arrive early! Once everyone is ready the doors open and the professionals and reviewers come in. Everyone will walk through the room looking at the work on display, stopping to talk to people who have interesting work on display. There are no set time slots. Rather people take as much time as they need/want with each person.
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You should bring whatever you think showcases your work in the most positive light. Many people have traditional printed portfolio books. This is great! Make sure the pages are big and well organized. Some people bring laptops or iPads. This also works. There will be wifi available. But you should make sure your device is fully charged as access to power can never be guaranteed.
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If you have models or other 3D objects that you'd like to share/show then please bring them! This would be a great way to differentiate your work from others in the room.
Business cards are a great idea. Another idea is to make a post card or some other memorable item that people can take with them. Regardless, make sure that whatever you give away has your contact information, including your name, email, phone, twitter handle, web site link, online portfolio link, etc.
This event is all about networking and meeting people. So don't be shy, and don't wait for people to come to you. Be friendly and invite people to look through your work. Tell your story (but be brief!). You should take some time in advance to practice what you'll say about your projects so that you sound confident and intelligent.
If there is a lull in activity take that time to look around at the work of others to see what they are doing and how they are presenting themselves. Constantly introduce yourself and find out who the others are in the room. You should always try to get cards or contact information from everyone you talk with so that you can follow up after the event.
Finally, remember to have fun! This is a rare opportunity to engage in this sort of critique/review and try to get the most out of it that you can!