Let’s start with Irish design conference OFFSET which has been held in Dublin for the last 7 years and last year had over 2,000 attendees. It grows in size each year with wonderful reports coming from attendees of previous years, describing inspiring and powerful talks and experiences at the conference. This year the conference can boast about hosting the two creative legends, photographer and art director Jean-Paul Goude and film title designer Dan Perri. You may be familiar with Goude’s work from iconic music and fashion photography for Grace Jones and recently ‘breaking the internet’ with Kim Kardashian. (If you don’t, you must be living under a rock!)
We are not at all surprised that Design Indaba, located in the beautiful Cape Town, has been named the best design conference in the world. The 3 day conference is jam packed with the most cutting-edge creative work coming in the forms of live performances, storytelling, aviations and music. Oh, and the feast of food and drink provided is supposed to be amazing, what more could you want? This year in particular will be extra special because Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane has been appointed creative director of the conference and will be sure to add her unique mind blowing creative spice to the conference mix!
HOW Design Live in Chicago is a conference that really listens to its audience, welcomes feedback and gives the people what they want. This year it’s worth noting the added workshops, masterclasses, ‘bootcamps’ and ‘spark sessions’. These are intended to increase engagement of design experts with the audience on a more hands on and personal level. One thing we love about HOW Design Live in particular is that, along with being a fantastic event for designers, it also brings people together to raise money for Charity Wheels4Water whose mission is to bring clean water to Uganda. In 2015 they raised $18,000 for the charity and will try to increase that figure this year.
Another killer design conference is the AIGA Design Conference which is being held in Minneapolis this year and, as always, it promises to deliver "provocative speakers, local culture, exhibitions, professional development sessions and face-to-face roundtables." One of the most exciting parts of what the conference has to offer is the Command X live design competition which allows seven up-and-coming designers to face off for the chance to break into the industry, win $1,000 in cash and a collection of prizes.
Seen as New York is known for being one of the most creatively charged city’s in the world it’s no wonder that it hosts an incredible design conference: the 99U conference run by Behance. The main focus of the conference is not on idea generation but instead on the execution of ideas and bringing them to life. If you are undecided on whether to buy a ticket for this year, just picture yourself at the closing party (open to all conference goers) in the MoMA sipping on cocktails amongst the best in the industry. If that isn’t reason enough to go, we don’t know what is!