10856721815_ea59d490d1_hTwice a year, creative professionals across the world gather to celebrate Behance Portfolio Review Week. Here in Montreal, we’ve been hosting review weeks since 2012.

November 2014 will be our 6th edition of reviews, offering an exciting line up of Montreal’s finest creative minds. Come and be a part of the fun!

We’ve answered some questions we’ve been asked over the years.

What is the Montreal Behance Portfolio Review?

The portfolio review is a laid-back, informal event that brings together Montreal creatives of all experience and skill levels in order to provide feedback on creative work and to connect with other interesting people. A keynote speaker will inspire us with words of wisdom about the creative industry while we mingle, listen to great tunes, sip a few cocktails, and network.

How is the Montreal event connected to the Behance Network?

Behance Portfolio Review Week is a global initiative taking place in over 80 countries! Montreal was one of the first major cities to host a Portfolio Review, and each year we are proud to offer a new and diverse line up of Reviewers and Speakers that showcase the unique Montreal creative community.

Each Portfolio Review around the world is organized by volunteers, following guidelines established by the Behance Network. A portfolio review in one city may be very different from another, since each event is unique.

As a community-run initiative, we do not receive any funding from Behance. Since the event is free to anyone to attend, our events are funded by donations from our participants and from a few generous sponsors who provide prizes, etc.

What happens at the event?

Our event starts with a quick presentation, where you will be introduced to the reviewers, the speakers, and anything else happening at the event.

We will then have the keynote presentation, after which we will break into reviews. Once the reviews are completed, we will award a few prizes and then regroup at a nearby venue to celebrate and socialize.

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Do I have to RSVP?

Yes! If you want to have a guaranteed place for a portfolio review, you must register via Eventbrite by November 3.

This year we have a new space, a new format, and a new system for reviews.

Space is limited, so in order to prioritize people bringing portfolios and ensure everyone gets feedback, we ask everyone to register for the event as either a portfolio presenter or a non-portfolio guest.

How much does it cost?

The portfolio review is completely free for everyone! However, it is organized on a volunteer basis with no official funding from outside sources.

We appreciate any donations that our participants can offer to offset the costs of the event (and to allow us to get even better snacks and drinks and prizes!)

Each year we try to find sponsors for the event, but otherwise we are on our own without a formal budget. (A suggested donation of $5-10 will make sure that the organizing team can pay their rent on time in December.)

How does the Review work?

We recruit creative professionals working in a variety of disciplines to act as Reviewers, who will look over your work and give you relevant feedback.

Based on what kind of work you do, you will be matched with a Reviewer who can offer you the best insight. You will also be grouped with other creatives in your field, and have the opportunity to get feedback and comments from your peers.

Just bring your portfolio and be ready to share it with others – we handle the rest!

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Will I have a designated time slot?

YES!…in a way. This year we are changing our format a little to make the most of the event for everyone who brings a portfolio. Each person will have the opportunity to show some of their work and receive feedback from a Reviewer and their peers. However, since time is restricted, there will be a limit to how much time can be spent on each individual. Throughout the event you are also free to mingle with other participants outside your assigned review group to show your work and get feedback from whomever you wish.

What kind of portfolio should I bring?

Our event focuses on visual work, including (but not limited to) print, graphic design, illustration, photography, web design, multimedia, and typography.

There is no specific format for your portfolio. You are welcome to bring whatever form of portfolio you think will show off your work in the best way. Print, 3D pieces, video, digital portfolios, and just about any other kind are welcome! However, please follow these simple guidelines:

  • Your work must be ready to show. WIFI IS NOT GUARANTEED therefore you should have your work in an offline format, as we will not be able to access your website at the venue. Please download in advance.
  • Large format work requiring a large display area CAN be accommodated…but please drop us a line in advance to let us know so we can make sure to have what you need available.
  • We DO NOT provide any computers / tablets / projectors / etc. for your portfolio. So please make sure that you have the tools with you that you need to show your work.

Do you offer portfolio review for writers / copywriters / journalists?

There are definitely a lot of talented people working in these areas in Montreal. However the focus of our event is on visually communicated work rather than on writing. Based on the nature of writing samples, the short timeframe of the event, and on the type of reviewers that we assemble, we unfortunately cannot accommodate written portfolios at this time.

Even if you are a writer or copywriter, you are still welcome to come to the event and socialize and enjoy the keynote presentations. However we will not be able to offer you a portfolio review. In future, we may have a special category for written work – join our mailing list to keep up to date!

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If I don’t bring a portfolio, or if I’m not a “creative professional”… can I still attend?

Of course! Our events offer something for everyone. If you’re interested in hearing good ideas, seeing cool work, and meeting interesting people, we’d love to have you there. For the November 2014 event, we have a limited number of spaces available for participants who will not be bringing a portfolio. Register soon on Eventbrite to guarantee your spot!

I’ve never made a portfolio before. What should I put in it?

Ahh, the famous question! Never made a portfolio before? No problem!
A portfolio is meant to be a showcase of your work that highlights your BEST pieces.Our events include people from all experience and skill levels – there is no need to be nervous, even if you have never put together a portfolio before.

The focus of a portfolio should be on quality rather than quantity.

We suggest gathering 20 examples of your work – whether sketches, finished projects, etc. – and then select 10 of those that you are the most proud of. During our event, you will probably be able to show 3-5 pieces to a review leader. You can choose to print out your pieces, show them in a sketchbook, or you can bring them in digital format (please make sure that you can access them without the internet!)

How should I dress?

There is no enforced dress codes—dress comfortably, and remember it never hurts to look good when you’re trying to make an impression.

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What if I can’t make it on time?

This is a relaxed event, but we are on a tight schedule. Doors will open at 6:30pm and the Keynote Presentation will start sharply at 7:00pm. Therefore, to get the most our of the event it is crucial that you arrive on time. If you can’t be in your seat by 7:00pm you can still possibly participate – we ask you to please get in touch with us so we can try to make arrangements.

Will I leave the Behance Portfolio Review with a job?

Wow! No….well….Maybe.  But there are no guarantees. We do offer a great opportunity to connect with experts and well-known creative professionals in the Montreal industry. But our event is not meant to be a recruiting platform.

The focus of the event is on getting feedback and insight into your work, not meeting your future boss. The Reviewers are giving their time and expertise to us and we do not want to pressure them with CV’s and business cards all night. However, the event IS a great way to network with other like-minded, interesting people. So be prepared to give out your contact info if you make the right connection. You never know!

I still have a lot of questions / I’m nervous / Etc.

We’re here for you! Drop us a line @BeReviewsMTL, reach out to us on our Facebook page, or talk to any of our helpful organizers at the event.

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Behance Reviews 6 kicks off on Friday, November 7 at 6:00pm. Register today via Eventbrite.

*Photos courtesy of Bjorn Swenson/Nuff

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