Spread the word, Vancouver BC Canada has an extraordinary number of people working with live visual thinking. This week I hosted a social to gather like-minded folks. It was a total blast. Potluck dinner and wine, gifts from Wacom made it special, and financial support from the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) made it happen. And two people traveled four hours to get here from Seattle and Victoria, so we know we’re onto something!
We shared new tools that inspire us, what got us interested in this work, and I held a demo of Wacom styli including the new Fineline (lots of oohing and ahhhing) and the Duo. With a room full of creative people, everyone made a quick and colourful get-well soon card for a colleague on the ipad. Even people who had never used a styli saw how intuitive it can be, and it’s always fun to try new things in a supportive environment. Lots of eating, of course, and if someone arrived knowing only one other person, we balanced the party with informal mingling and then a couple of ’rounds’, so by the end of the night everyone was on a first-name basis.
You might be curious as to why one would want to invite the “competition” over for dinner, but it’s really the opposite. IFVP has always believed we need to grow this field. It’s a fine balance in a field of solopreneurs, but I strongly believe that supporting each other is more important – abundance builds more opportunities. Growing this field means being thoughtful and deliberate – projects get more complex and more skilled team members are needed. Having a strong network means we can rely on each other when a client needs a practitioner and you’re already booked. And, it’s mentorship: we all need advice, support, and even though the Graphic Facilitation facebook group is amazing, sometimes a local connection is important. I like to compare visual thinking to graphic design: there might be a zillion graphic designers, and yet there’s always room for more. People carve out their niches and expertise, the field scales with accreditation and standards, and everyone wins. (Just no $5 fivr logos, thanks.)
If you’re in the Vancouver BC-area, we meets next in April-ish. Victoria, Seattle you’re more than welcome to keep joining us. Our events will alternative socials with skill sharing. Last time Yolanda Liman showed us recording on the ipad. New ideas for future events include visual storytelling, facilitation skills, animation, and more.
Beyond Vancouver, the IFVP exists to build this type of community on a global scale. IFVP has members in 29 countries (at least) – and wants to see more local gatherings wherever visual thinkers live.
IFVP meets next for the annual conference in Austin Texas this July… more on that soon!
Special thanks to my my co-host and fellow practitioner Rosanna von Saacken.