There’s no argument about that.
Don’t think of working with clients in a bad way though. The stressful part comes from the constant changing of the mind, wants and needs, and trying to figure out what it is that the client needs.
(the following is an example of client/designer interaction, not my interaction with my client)
Communication is essential, but can be frustrating. Each party involved, the client as well as myself, has different areas of specialty. While the client’s specialty is their nonprofit, what it does and how it helps people, my specialty is design and seeing things from a graphics point of view. I think in terms of, how will this help my client, but how will it pull in the audience that we need?
Because of the differing points of view, this is where the needs can get confusing, so communication is essential to help clarify ideas, as well as what will work out best for both the client and you.
Why is CreateAthon good?
There’s so many answers to this question.
First off, the obvious. CreateAthon helps out the local community by providing thousands of dollars worth of advertising and deliverables to non-profits free of charge.
Secondly, CreateAthon onCampus helps out students. It does this in many different ways. It helps students get real world experience dealing with real clients. Through school, many students deal with imaginary clients answering only to the professor. The professor judges the work, deciding whether or not it is what the client needs. With CreateAthon, students deal with real clients, and with this, students deal with real needs and problems.
An example can be taken from my experience this year with CreateAthon. My client is VASS, or Virginia Advanced Study Strategies. I worked with the president and the board of VASS, narrowing down what it was they were essentially looking for, as well as what they truly needed. With my client, there was a lot of emails exchanged back and forth, probably 2-3 times weekly at first, and then as it got closer to the event, anywhere from 2-6 times daily. There were many different ideas exchanged, as well as other various needs that arose at different times.
After the event had occurred, we received information from VASS that the direction that we had initially gone in was not the one that worked best for them. They had decided after seeing the work that they needed to focus less on the youth audience, and focus more on the corporate audience so that they could receive more funding.
This was frustrating to hear, no doubt at all. But it’s a situation that you have to deal with in the real world. Clients constantly change their mind about what they want and need.
This kind of experience, interacting with the clients, going through the needs and wants, and dealing with sudden changes of direction is amazing to have. It may not be the ideal situation, but it prepares you for the real world.
And lastly, why CreateAthon is good. The process of brainstorming, creating, and executing condensed into 24 hours is a time period which is exhausting, yes, but leaves you feeling with an amazing feeling of accomplishment. You just stayed up for 24 hours, helping out a real client, a real organization. The thanks and gratitude that you receive for all the work you put in as well are overwhelming. They leave you with a feeling of warmth, a feeling of knowing that you did something good, that you helped someone who truly needed it. Giving up your time to help someone move forward.
If nothing else, that last reason for why CreateAthon is good for students is one that I would recommend to anyone.
Collaboration is essential.
I think everyone knows this already.
But working in a nonstop creative environment for at least 24 hours, how does one keep from basically wanting to kill the other members that they’re working with?
-Simple Answer: Respect.
-Long Answer: Listening to others’ ideas as well as your own. You have to be willing to listen (not necessarily agree) and be open to other’s ideas. You may not like the ideas, and you may not always agree with them, but being open to the ideas is essential. Your ideas aren’t always going to be the best, and you have to be willing to accept that.
During CreateAthon, as a team leader, I can say that my ideas were not always the best. Thank goodness for my team members. They definitely saved me, and not just with the work, but they critiqued my ideas and concepts efficiently in a way that actually helped us to move forward as a group. Because of the honest critiques, and accepting of other’s ideas, our group functioned a lot more efficiently and effectively, and were able to really pump out some strong pieces. I can definitely say that if we had kept back all our thoughts and worked more on our own individually, we would definitely not have gotten as far as we did with the deliverables.
Collaboration during CreateAthon is more than just the ideas as well. Collaboration is knowing who you’re working with. Knowing that everyone needs a break, takes criticism differently, and that everyone functions differently. Yet in the end, you take all of the different factors about each individual person, and you make it all work together.
I miss my CreateAthon team. I really miss how we worked together to create something new and awesome.
If I could do this again with them, you better believe I would jump on that opportunity ASAP.
Adrienne, Carl, Katie, Ken, Travis… I miss you guys.
Tumblr founder, David Karp, wants to help us get the word out there about CreateAthon!!!!
It’s been over a week since CreateAthon.
Since then, I’ve grown to miss it terribly.
In a way it’s kind of like that childhood friend that you have. You want to keep them around forever, yet grow older with them, sharing everything with them, have fun and keep them close. This is CreateAthon every year. We want to keep it close, grow with our nonprofits, have fun, share different things with them back and forth.
Seriously, I think there needs to be more CreateAthon like events.
The mind power, creativity, excitement, fun, and good that comes out of it pretty much triumphs over other experiences.
So now, in the aftermath of CreateAthon, we’re waiting to hear back from our clients. Finding out what needs to be revised (which I know with my client is the copy), and then moving forward with the client so that we can help them on this new found path that we’ve helped them to create.
If Unique Perceptions and VASS were to partner up for something, I feel like this would be the result.
And while I may not be an expert on the services that Unique Perceptions provides, I definitely know VASS. VASS is definitely trying to push the growth of STEM opportunities in our schools in Virginia.
PS for more on Unique Perceptions Services check out http://aortathence.tumblr.com
An interesting take on advertising