2016 Tech + Design Conference Guide

While its certainly true that you can learn most anything from the comfort of your computer screen – it can be beneficial to get out into the wild and see whats happening in the creative community. With so many content streams and new conferences popping up what seems like daily, its become hard to separate the good from the bad. Many talks and webinars are now offered free, but many conferences come with a hefty price tag, so its imperative to do your homework.

Whether looking to expand your client base, offer new services, grow your network, recruit or even get a new job – attending at least one well researched conference per year can be invigorating, inspiring and all in all – a solid investment in yourself or your business.

To help make sense of it all, we’ve compiled a few of our favorites that have proven to deliver great ROI. If your budget is tight – don’t fret – many of these conferences offer portions that may be available via streaming free of charge.


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O’Reilly Design Conference

January 19-22, 2016
San Francisco, California
Website

This three-day conference is a deep-immersion experience focused on providing designers with the full stack of skills they need to remain competitive and create the next generation of products and services. Speakers include Google partners, Nest, IDEO, Facebook and The New York Times. Of Note: Early bird pricing ends December 3, 2015.


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SXSW Interactive 2016

March 11-15, 2016
Austin, Texas
Website
What can we say – this is the place to be. Five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, SXSW Interactive is an extensive lineup of programs showcasing the best in new media, wearables, UX and innovative ideas the creative community has to offer. New speakers announced on a rolling basis. Of Note: This event always sells out, so act fast before all the cool kids beat you to it.


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Adobe Summit

March 20-24, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada
Website
If you or your company uses Adobe products – this is a highly useful conference. Summit includes more than 150 sessions and hands-on labs, inspiring keynote speakers who will share their insights and vision, and the chance to network with other professional marketers from around the world and gain in-depth knowledge in all areas of digital marketing.


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Collision

April 26-28, 2016
New Orleans, Louisiana
Website
Named “America’s fastest growing tech conference”, Collision Conference was created by the team behind Web Summit. In two years, Collision has grown to over 7,500 attendees from more than 50 countries. Attendees include CEOs of both the world’s fastest growing startups including Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey and Reed Hastings as well as the the world’s largest companies, alongside leading investors and media. Adding to the lure of this conference, is the timing and location, which is being held in New Orleans, in between the two weekends of Jazz Fest.


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99U

May 4-6, 2015
New York, New York
Website
Introduced by the team at Behance, the 99U Conference is truly a ‘get your hands dirty’ outfit. Setting out to shift focus from idea generation to idea execution, 99U will provide ideas and insights into road-tested strategies to make ideas happen. A one-of-a-kind live experience fully devoted to exploring the mechanics of idea execution – speakers include Spotify, Quirky, MoMA, IDEO, and many more.


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HOW Design Live

May 19-23, 2016
Atlanta, Georgia
Website
With new keynote Stefan Sagmeister just added – HOW Design Live is sure to be a big event. Known as the largest gathering of creative professionals, HOW Design Live HOW Design Live is more than a professional conference. It’s an inspiration-packed, global creative gathering guaranteed to open your mind, fuel your soul and power your career. The conference is divided into 6 programs so attendees can customize their experience and focus in on the areas they want to encourage. Single days and session packages are available for those who cannot attend the entire conference or who have a specific focus.


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Ad Tech

May 11-12, 2016
Los Angeles, California
Website
ad:tech’s two-day conference program features 30 conference sessions and 5 keynotes led by leaders representing brands, agencies and publishers that are creating noise in the marketing space. Of Note: Speaking Opportunities May Be Available.


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Bloomberg Technology Conference

June 13-14, 2016
San Francisco, CA
Website
The 2015 Bloomberg Technology Conference: Code and the Corner Office brought together corporate leaders from both inside and outside of tech, top investors, entrepreneurs and other influencers for 24 hours of shared discovery and debate about the real business impact of software and coding – from artistic medium to competitive advantage to cybersecurity threat. Past speakers include Marissa Meyer of Yahoo and Dick Costolo of Twitter. Of Note: The 2016 event is still developing – stay tuned.


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AIGA Design Conference

October 17-19, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada
Website
The AIGA Design Conference is the biggest event of the year for creatives from all across the country. Be there as the design community comes together for provocative speakers, nightly networking receptions, live competitions, exhilarating exhibitions, innovative professional development sessions, and face-to-face roundtables with your design heroes. Of Note: Best rates available through end of January 2016 only.


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Web Summit

November 8-10, 2016
Lisbon, Portugal
Website
The only international event included on this list – the Web Summit has grown from 400 attendees to over 22,000 from more than 110 countries in just the past 4 years. It’s been called “the best technology conference on the planet”. Of Note: For a limited time get 2 for 1.

Versions Collective

The VERSIONS™ collective is a firm-wide collaborative design project. Our team designed compiling thoughts, perspective and ideas on the current creative and digital landscape. We are visual storytellers & believers of the power of design in both print and digital.

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