How to Collaborate with Your Fellow Designers for Maximum Results

How can you collaborate with other designers?

Here at Go Media, we hold an annual design conference called Weapons of Mass Creation Festival. Weapons of Mass Creation Fest is a three-day art, design and music conference that features a diverse panel of dynamic speakers, invaluable workshops, and exciting interactive programs. It’s a must-attend event for professional and aspiring artists, designers and entrepreneurs. It’s a unique chance for attendees to derive inspiration through networking, learning and celebrating shared passions.

Two very special things happen at Weapons that allow for our attendees to forge strong relationships:
1. As a small, intimate, DIY event, we are able to build a strong sense of community. Our meetups and mixers are just, if not more important than any talk or workshop, as they get our attendees talking and building friendships that will last a lifetime.
2. Honest, down-to-earth, authentic, truth-tellers represent the WMC Fest family. We ask that anyone who speaks or shares their story comes to the stage with an open heart and is candid about their failures and successes. This makes the air ripe for an environment where we all are welcome to be open and honest.

When people feel safe enough to be themselves, to be vulnerable, open and share ideas, they may blossom in a way they might not in a normal work environment. In certain work environments, we are at times too anxious to share ideas for fear of failure or encouraged to hoard our ideas in hopes that we will get ahead of our coworkers.

Now that we’ve learned to be open and vulnerable, how can we collaborate for maximum results, even if we live miles away from one another?

Here are six ways we suggest connecting and collaborating with other designers now:

  1. Join our Private Facebook Group, We Are Weapons! This group is a safe place where we can meet up, exchange ideas and concepts and collaborate even though we can’t be at the same place at the same time. This is a safe place, so if you can’t be kind, please do not request an invite.
  2. Show your new contacts that you care and check in with them regularly. Don’t have a project to collaborate on just yet? Keep checking in with your new contact regularly to let them know you’re thinking about them. Make an effort to comment on their work on Instagram, send them an email check-in, pop a Christmas card in the mail for them. Put a Google event on your calendar if you need a reminder for this. It will pay off in dividends.
  3. Continue to provide information without asking anything in return. In keeping with the spirit of Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, you’ll need to continue to stay vulnerable, however difficult that may be. In order to get value, you will need to provide value to others. In order to get others to open up, you may need to do so first. Spread this concept and the design community will thrive!
  4. Be encouraging of any ideas shared. The quickest way to discourage collaboration is to shut down an idea shared by a colleague. Nurture your relationship by being open to hearing any ideas, thoughts or concepts. Give your honest feedback and advice, but always be supportive of their willingness to share and be vulnerable with you.
  5. Be a connector. Take a step back for a moment and survey the scene. Collaboration is for everyone, so if you see an opportunity to connect one colleague with another colleague, do so. Providing opportunities for others makes collaboration a big win for everyone.
  6. Meetup and exchange ideas! Weapons of Mass Creation Fest happens every August, so come back, meet up with your friends and see how much you’ve progressed over the year. In the meantime, use Skype and Google Hangouts to connect online and strengthen those relationships further.
  7. Work on mini-projects together. Need a pick-me-up and bit of inspiration? Encourage collaboration by working on a mini-project with a colleague or friend. For example, you could work simultaneously on a 100-day project or something similar.

Until we meet again, we hope that the relationships you’ve built at a design conference like Weapons of Mass Creation Fest will serve you well and allow you to create some beautiful design together.