As 2019 draws to a close, we're spotlighting five IDSA Professional Chapters that excelled this year in organizing events and creating opportunities for members to connect, learn and succeed as industrial designers. This is one of their stories.

The IDSA Atlanta Chapter, which includes hundreds of student and professional members across Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, is a shining example for all IDSA Chapters to follow. This group’s commitment "to sharing and elevating the creativity of the South" manifests through regular meetups like Brew Crew, as well as game nights, brainstorming sessions, studio tours and more.

In March, the chapter hosted the Southern Design Summit 2019 in Atlanta, which explored the business value of design and tools of the ID trade. The summit will return in 2020; follow the chapter's Instagram and Facebook pages for updates.

We asked IDSA Atlanta Chapter Chair Sarah Brand, IDSA to share some highlights from 2019 and what energizes her team as they plan for 2020.

IDSA: What did your chapter accomplish this year, and how did you do it?

Sarah Brand: 2019 was a big year for IDSA Atlanta. With a larger team and big ideas, we’ve had a packed calendar of events throughout the year. Our biggest accomplishment for the year was creating the first ever Southern Design Summit. Now that we no longer have district conferences, our team wanted to create a new conference to bring the South together. We had a great response from everyone who came and plan on doing the conference again in the spring.

Why do you think you succeeded? Did you do anything differently?

Part of our success this year has been through partnering with other design organizations on events, creating fresh ideas and a wider audience. We’ve teamed up with organizations like openIDEO, Service Design Network and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, as well as many Atlanta design firms.

Tell us about you chapter. What makes it special?

I think the Atlanta design community has always been strong. The local studios are big supporters of our chapter and frequently attend/host events. Knowing we have this support energizes our team to create new and better events for the community.

What are your short-term and long-term chapter goals?

Our short-term goals are to consistently build up attendance for our events and figure out the most effective ways to communicate events to our members. Long term, I think we want to create enough excitement around IDSA Atlanta that will get a lot of people interested in running and leading the chapter. When our team’s term is done, we want to know the momentum will carry on.

What are you looking forward to?

Our team is in prep mode for our Southern Design Summit 2020! We learned a lot in the first summit and are excited to bring Atlanta an awesome summit for 2020.