Sorry for the delay in this post. I got quite sick a few days after attending Secret Handshake, and recovering took up more time than I would have liked. That and I had quite a time coming up with an image to represent this post. While the image could still use a bit of tweaking, I call this one finished!
This month, I hadn’t planned on going to the Secret Handshake meetup. The munchkin is due in only a couple of months and there’s still quite a bit to do. But two things happened that changed my mind.
First, this meetup was dubbed, Graphic Designer Appreciation Night. All graphic designers would get a free drink. Since I am a graphic designer, it seemed like a good time to go! Especially since the offer applied to non-alcoholic drinks (I don’t really drink).
Second, there was a rather lengthy article about Secret Handshake in the Winnipeg Free Press. It was a pretty good article and it cleared up a mystery. It looks like New Media Manitoba is in fact footing the bill for all the incidental expenses. Things like the printed names tags and tent cards. So I don’t have to worry about the collection agency of Lefty and Louis.
So anyways, as I mentioned in my last Secret Handshake posting, I went home first to have supper as the meetup was going to be at the Arkadash Bistro again. This also gave me the opportunity to check in on my very lovely and very pregnant wife. I made certain I had room for dessert as well. The Arkadash’s menu seemed a little shy on big dinners but had quite a few smaller items I was dying to try.
Now, this evening was cold, and snowing. This must have made the streets a total mess as my wait for the bus was really long. A ten minute wait turned into a 40 minute wait! I was quite the frozen little turd by the time my bus arrived. Did I mention it was cold out?
Remember that newspaper article I mentioned earlier? Turns out a lot of Winnipeg creatives still read the Saturday paper as suddenly 150 people signed up to show up for Secret Handshake. Or perhaps there’s a lot of starving designers looking for a free beer? I was rather worried there wouldn’t be any room at the inn as the Arkadash isn’t exactly the largest venue in the world. This was not the night for standing outside waiting to get in.
Turns out, the Arkadash was prepared for us. Just inside the entrance way I was greeted with one of those red carpet fence posts. You had to wait until someone left to get all the way in. Figures. For once in my life, I’m on the list, but I’m still not allowed in!
It wasn’t long before someone went outside for a “lifestyle” break, and I was in!
Along with the red carpet gateway, the Bistro seemed to have rearranged their furniture to better accommodate a larger crowd. It seemed much less cramped this time around. And I think the weather and road conditions kept a few people away, so it wasn’t totally crazy busy. But it was busy enough that I decided to forgo ordering anything but a drink off the menu. Good think I sharpened my elbows before leaving, as the bar area was rather crowded.
A strange thing though. There’s usually a table (or two) dedicated to housing all our name tags. This time around it was name stickers. Graphic designers and sharp objects usually means disaster. I guess since there would be quite a few graphic designers showing up, using stickers instead of name tags would prevent a lot of unnecessary bleeding and missing eyes. Eyes are very important to the visual arts.
Another reason this meetup may have become so popular this time around had something to do with design students at Red River College. Seems the students taking the Digital Media Design program are required to attend industry meetings as part of their course. Gives students the opportunity to meet industry insiders and develop contacts I suppose. The one student I did talk to did make the mistake of making me feel old though. It’s been a long, long time since I was a student at Red River, and the student I was talking to wanted to know if seventeen years ago we used computers for graphic design.
We did. We even had indoor plumbing. And dirt. That was invented the year I started attending class I believe.
And after feeling older than I should, I thought I should shove off and let someone else in. Besides, if my trip there was any indication, I’d have a long wait for the bus.
This time though, the public transit gods were smiling, and there was a bus waiting for me. Like I planned it that way.