Getting potential users, whether they be business members or community members, into the IMRC Center to take a tour is the most powerful and effective method for increasing their interest in the facility. However, many people outside the immediate New Media and Intermedia departments are unaware of the benefits and endless possibilities the equipment at the IMRC Center offers, which makes it challenging to convince outsiders to spend their valuable time touring the building. To remedy this situation, I propose bringing a physical “building portfolio” to an initial meeting with prospective clients.
The physical portfolio would include items created on the 3D printers, laser cutters, vacuum former, and other equipment available at the IMRC. It’s crucial to show a variety of products showcasing practicality and artistry to emphasize the range of possibilities. Allowing prospective users to touch these things and ask questions about them before touring the building gives a sense of reality to an otherwise seemingly “far-fetched” field of production. Ensuring them that equipment such as 3D printers are not novelties, nor a unattainable tools of the future will inspire them to make the effort to learn more about the equipment and services available at the IMRC.
The physical portfolio would be presented by a representative of the IMRC and a New Media or Intermedia student who is familiar with the general needs of the client, to show prospective users that the students are on the cutting edge of technology and are more than capable of using the equipment and creating innovative solutions to challenges the clients are facing. This would also establish an initial relationship between the student and client, which would give the client a contact at the IMRC should they have any questions, and a freelance worker when needed.
Overall, the focus of this capstone would be to create a strong personal connection with each of the prospective users to ensure that a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship is established.