It’s time to rev your engines and get your design juices flowing — and what better way to get the blood pumping than by attending a design event?
Design events are a great opportunity to learn from professionals in your field — whether you’re in graphic design, web design, package design or somewhere in between. There’s always something to learn and definitely room to grow.
Design events can put you in contact with the experts that are shaping the future of innovative design. Learn from their triumphs and failures and put yourself on the path to success with the help of dedicated panels, workshops and more.
But brands can learn from these design events as well. Whether you have in in-house design team or you outsource your design needs, it’s important that you understand the evolving landscape and learn what trends and looks consumers are leaning towards.
Design has a major impact on buyer behavior — from color choice to shape and UX interfaces. You need to understand how your audience thinks and what is visually appealing to them. This will help you craft the perfect strategy and accompanying collateral that leads to conversions and sales.
Your business needs design — there’s no question about that. Without design, your brand has nothing. You need a visual identity in the form of a logo, web design and product packaging in order to succeed.
Designers and businesses alike can learn a thing or two from these events. They can put you on the path to success, strengthen your skill set and get you ready to take on 2019 in style.
If you want to know where to get started, check out these 12 winter design events and you’ll be one step closer to the visual campaign of your dreams.
12 Design Events That’ll Kick Your Brand Into High Gear
1. Clojure Exchange 2018: London, UK — December 3-4
Clojure Exchange is an event for designers and tech professionals looking to up their web design and development game through the use of new, innovative and emerging technologies. Network with like-minded peers and get a greater understanding of these cutting-edge trends and software. This two-day event is packed with talks, panels and workshops to help you establish a strong strategy with the best technologies at the forefront.
If you're looking for the best place to learn about Clojure, Functional Programming and network with like-minded people, then the Clojure eXchange 2018 is the conference you simply can't miss! Meet with the world's leading experts, learn how to use Clojure in your team and discuss war stories with your peers.
2. Business Of Design Week: Hong Kong, China — December 3-8
The Business Of Design Week is Asia’s biggest design event, celebrating design in all forms and in all business endeavors. This event talks about design and its impact on brands and businesses, making this a great place to learn about this intersection and how businesses can utilize these technologies. Exchange ideas and discuss future potential with familiar peers. Network with professionals. Learn from experts. The event’s theme promotes collaboration and creation, and that’s exactly what this conference will teach professionals like yourself to do.
Asia’s premier annual event on design, innovation and brands since 2002, Business of Design Week (BODW) organised by Hong Kong Design Centre brings some of the world’s most outstanding design masters and influential business figures to Hong Kong. It provides a valuable platform for business and creative leaders to exchange ideas, network, and explore new business opportunities. Taking the theme of ‘Think ∙ Collaborate ∙ Create’ BODW 2018 will team up with Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city for seven years’ running according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, and other countries and economies to explore design and innovation in branding, space, communication, product and culture, with new conference streams on Digital & Design, Greater Bay Area & Design and more.
3. OzCHI: Melbourne, Australia — December 5-7
The OzCHI conference is a three-day event that focuses heavily on technology and research. Design relies on cutting-edge software and technologies. It relies on research and practice and innovation. This conference isn’t solely dedicated to design, but it’s important to understand the technical backbone that holds the digital world together. There is something to be said about the interaction between human and technology. And that’s what this event prides itself on. And that’s equally important in design to understand how to better craft a site or an app that encourages engagement and interactivity.
OzCHI is Australia's leading forum for the latest in Human-Computer Interaction research and practice. OzCHI attracts a broad international community of researchers, industry practitioners, academics and students. Participants come from a range of backgrounds, including interface designers, user experience experts, information architects, software engineers, human factors specialists, information systems analysts, and social scientists. This year's conference theme is 'digital, physical, interactive, human'. This theme highlights the diversity and relevance of Human-Computer Interaction in today's digitally rich world. We invite original contributions on all topics related to Human-Computer Interaction, Interaction Design and the design and use of interactive technologies. Submissions are invited for long papers, short papers, workshops, and the doctoral consortium.
4. Design Miami: Miami, Florida — December 5-9
Design Miami is an event for the artists and designers out there. It’s a festival that celebrates art in all forms — from paint pieces and fashion to other museum-grade art installments. If you want to learn about the intricacies of design and how it can be used for artistic purposes, this is a great event for inspiration and cultural enlightenment. Network, make new friends and learn from some of the most creative minds in the field at this four-day festival in the bright city of Miami.
Design Miami is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design. Design Miami/ is more than a marketplace for design, where the world’s top galleries gather to present museum-quality exhibitions of twentieth and twenty-first century furniture, lighting and objets d’art. Each show balances exclusive commercial opportunities with progressive cultural programming, creating exciting collaborations with designers and design institutions, panels and lectures with luminaries from the worlds of design, architecture, art and fashion, and unique commissions from the world’s top emerging and established designers and architects.
5. Chiang Mai Design Week: Chiang Mai, Thailand — December 6-10
This annual festival held in the Thailand city of Chiang Mai is a powerful event that brings together designers of all niches to share projects, ideas and plans for the future. Bounce opportunities and concepts off of one another and see what other professionals are working on to fuel your own inspiration. Designers from around the world flock to this week-long event to celebrate art, design and culture with fellow professionals. Expand your knowledge and widen your design opportunities — all it takes is a registration.
Chiang Mai Design Week is an annual festival jointly held by creators from different industries, established and upcoming designers, craftsmen, artists and entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai to present design innovations or new projects that cater to the needs of modern living. It also provides a conversation space where people can get together and share design knowledge as local and international designers and creators are invited to celebrate the creative culture and the potential of design. Moreover, the event will help build collaboration networks and expand local and international business opportunities, which lead to a better working environment for creators and entrepreneurs in creative industries.
6. An Event Apart: San Francisco, California — December 10-12
An Event Apart is one of the biggest design events for designers in the technical and digital sphere. If you’re looking to up your web design and app development game, this is the place for you. Learn about VR and AR technologies that are shaping the future of design and strengthen your skill set when it comes to UX and UI design. This event is packed with intelligent and experienced speakers and hosts that are sure to inspire you and fill you with a knowledge you didn’t have before. This event is about the future. It’s about preparing you for tomorrow, next month and next year. Get your hands on tangible, actionable insights that will kickstart your career and help you create projects that amaze.
An Event Apart San Francisco is two days of sessions from 12 speakers with intense focus on digital design, UX, content, code, and more. Following the two-day conference comes a full day, A Day Apart, with a single speaker diving deeply into one important topic. Learn from the best—our speakers aren’t just industry leaders with years of experience and deep insight. They’re also engaging, inspiring thinkers who are passionate about sharing what they’ve learned and helping you level up your skills. Learn what’s next—we don’t just present what’s happening right now. We also look ahead to what’s around the corner. Just a few of the topics people heard about on our stage before the rest of the industry knew they were coming: responsive web design, mobile-first practices, content strategy, and CSS Grid. Learn from your peers—our attendees are dedicated professionals with experience and know-how from years in the field. The person you bump into at the opening night reception may have faced and overcome the exact problem you’re facing now, or know someone who has. They’re some of the smartest people you’ll ever meet.
7. VRX 2018: San Francisco, California — December 26-27
VRX 2018 is an event that cares about results. It’s in the business of shaping its attendees to be better, more proactive and engaged individuals with a drive, a passion and a skill set that leads to success. Learn about new technologies and what they mean for the world of marketing and design. Network with peers and learn from the best about innovations that you might not even know about yet. You don’t want to miss this.
We’ve spoken with dozens of senior leaders across enterprise, consumer entertainment and the entire immersive tech ecosystem to see what they needed. They overwhelmingly said that they needed a new kind of event. An industry reality check. An event focused on outcomes, not evangelism:
THE WHOLE INDUSTRY IN ONE PLACE: VRX is established as the annual event that brings together senior business leaders from across gaming, media, industry & tech. No other event does this to the level we do
FOLLOW THE SMART MONEY: Get exposure to the primary investors and the biggest companies backing the growth of XR. Hear where the smart money’s going when they’re betting on the next wave of applications and adoption
THE REAL INNOVATORS ON SHOW: We’ll showcase the key startups offering game-changing VR & AR solutions to drive industry growth – walk away with new inspiration and investment ideas
ASSESS THE TRUE IMPACTS OF THE TECH: In-depth discussions and case studies highlighting the key use-cases and revenue opportunities for XR across both consumer and enterprise markets. Where do you need to be focusing NOW?
UNRIVALLED NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES: Carefully curated agenda tracks provide time to debate the learnings, discuss future directions and work on tangible takeaways
8. CES: Las Vegas, Nevada — January 8-11
If you’re a designer that works with consumer-facing brands, CES is definitely worth a visit. It might be all about products and technologies, but you can use these insights and breakthroughs to your advantage and get a feel for the consumer landscape. That’s important for knowing how to craft a winning design and make an impact on your audience. There will definitely be insights that can benefit your career and your process, so don’t’ write it off just because it sounds a little out-of-the-box.
CES is the world's gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years — the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), it attracts the world's business leaders and pioneering thinkers.
9. Toronto Design Offsite Festival: Toronto, Canada — January 18-27
If you want to be amazed by dazzling displays of design art, the Toronto Design Offsite Festival is the place to be. It’s the largest festival for design in Canada and it features hundreds of exhibits that are sure to spark your inspiration and get those creative juices flowing. This festival cares about culture and its impact on design. If you want to learn about where these two concepts converge, you’ll want to free your schedule for this week.
The Toronto Design Offsite Festival is Canada’s largest cultural celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week, January 18-27, 2019. Going into its 9th year, the Festival transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking design and art out of the studio and into the urban sphere, bringing people together to celebrate contemporary culture. We provide opportunities for emerging talent and engage the community with exceptional and accessible public programming.
10. Interaction19: Seattle, Washington — February 4-10
If you’re in the business of interaction design, then you need to attend Interaction19. This event will provide you with tools to up your game and the trends that are shaping the future of this design niche. Learn what it takes to engage with audiences and infuse these insights and actionable information into your own designs. Here’s a peek into what this six-day event is all about.
11. Digital Thinkers Conference Amsterdam: Amsterdam, Netherlands — February 13-15
Are you a digital thinker? Are you ready to marry the old with the new? Are you a designer that finds inspiration from the world around you? Then don’t want to miss the Digital Thinkers Conference in Amsterdam. This creative and exciting conference will test you and inspire you all at the same time. Prepare to learn from some of the most innovative minds in the industry and share your own opinions and ideas while networking with a wide variety of professionals.
Experiencing the city of Amsterdam is a real treat for designers, where old complements new on every corner. Its artistic heritage and unique architecture, coupled with its world renowned innovative approach and laid back lifestyle makes this exciting European a real favorite of the digital design community. Easy to get to and a delight for the senses, we’re all looking for a reason to go back to Amsterdam and in 2019 here’s the perfect excuse!
12. Developer Week: San Francisco, California — February 20-24
Developer Week, as it sounds, is a week-long event dedicated to designers and developers. You’ll get first-hand knowledge into the future of design and the technologies that will take you there. And you’ll even get to try your hand at testing it through in-depth and engaging workshops and panels. New technologies are the future of design and you need to know what they are in order to succeed.
Design Events That’ll Shape Your Professional Future
Design events can have a major impact on you as an individual and as a member of a larger design team. They can teach you how to look at a project and plan for its success. And they can inform you on how to shape your strategy and process to ensure that the designs you create lead to results for your employer.
The future of design is constantly in flux — what makes for a great user interface now will change a few months from now. What drives sales on a website could be the downfall of a brand later on.
You need to make sure you’re in the know. You need to stay at the top of your game and make sure you’re learning from the best. With trends constantly shifting, you and the brands you work with can’t afford to be working with last season’s knowledge.
Attending these summits and conferences is a great way to broaden your mind and strengthen your abilities. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring but with the experience of these events under your belt, you can be sure that you will be ready for it.
Kick off 2019 with a bang — and do it with the knowledge and insights events like these have to offer. You won’t be disappointed and you won’t regret your decision to attend.
Education is never a waste — and knowledge truly is power.
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