Making the Most of Your Membership: Hosting a Town Square

We often say that you get out of your membership what you put into it. The “Making the Most of Your Membership” series shares ideas and options for how to gain the greatest benefits from your AIGA membership and involvement with AIGA Raleigh.

Looking for an an opportunity to meet up with fellow designers and professionals in the area to discuss design trends, ideas, tips, resources, etc.? While our monthly community meeting is a great place for introductions, an informal and open meet-up allows you the chance to have more in-depth conversations and form relationships. That is the idea behind our Town Square program.

If you’ve you been to the Durham/Chapel Hill Town Square hosted by Seth Patrick and Julia Elman, you know these events are casual, fun, and full of great discussions. Not to mention opportunities for networking. We know of at least one attendee who landed a freelance job during one of these gatherings.

In the past we’ve had several different Town Square meetings that were focused on specific topics—Freelancers, Writers, Photography to name a few. We’d like to bring back these focused groups as well as establish groups in different areas of the community. One reason for the success of the Durham/Chapel Hill Town Square is that is gives people living in those areas a chance to attend an event closer to home. We’d like to give other areas the same opportunity.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sending out a survey to request input on expanding our Town Square program. We want to discover topics of focus and areas that aren’t yet being served in the community. We also need to find people who are interested in hosting these new Town Square groups. Read on to find out more about hosting a Town Square.

Hosting a Town Square

Town Squares are the easiest events to organize. They are informal and low-maintenance. As a host all you need to do is pick a time of the month (i.e. the third thursday of the month), a start date, and a location. Send that info to so we can put it on the event calendar and start promoting it (you should promote as well on your own social media channels) and show up. At least one board member will attend the first few meetings to lend you their support. We’ll supply you with a table tent card to help attendees find you at the location.

Find more info on hosting a Town Square here.

Top 4 Reasons to Host a Town Square
  1. Network with other designers and learn the lay of the land regarding design jobs/agencies
  2. Discuss design trends, ideas, resources, tips
  3. Get involved and take ownership of something fun and worthwhile
  4. Make new friends, socialize

For more on hosting a Town Square, read this post by our Town Square Director, Seth Patrick. If you are interested in starting your own Town Square, email or

Taking an active role within AIGA Raleigh gives you the opportunity to build new skills, share skills you already have, build stronger relationships with your peers in the design community, create a larger network of professionals to draw inspiration from and collaborate with, and create more opportunities for yourself.

As a chapter we need members who can contribute their time and skills towards reaching our chapter goals—nurturing design ability, proving design impact, and uniting people. These goals are enveloped in our mission to make a better chapter. We can’t obtain these goals without the efforts of our community. We need you to take the initiative to take an active role in pursuing our chapter goals. When you do, you will find that you gain greater benefits from your membership. You will also find that we are quick to show appreciation and give recognition for your contributions.

So if you are ready to get more out of your membership and take an active role in making a better chapter, please contact the board or our community organizer for more information. We’re ready and waiting to help you get started.

By Amy Lyons
Published January 2, 2013