Design conferences are one of the best ways for students and professionals working within the creative industry to learn new skills, get inspiration and most importantly make new contacts that could lead to future employment or exciting collaborations.
There are hundreds of design conferences that take place across the globe, so here we've collected 11 of our favourites to help you get started. They're happening this year and next, and you'll find events here that are in the UK, America, Europe and more.
We've put them in chronological order starting with the event that's happening soonest.
Best design conferences: Reasons to be Creative
Reasons to be Creative will arrive in Brighton on 7 September, and is a three-day event that covers various disciplines including design, development, typography, sound, gaming, illustration, art, film and more.
The schedule includes Graphic Storytelling with Noma Bar, How to build a startup with Jolyon Russ, and The Art of Misuse with Evan Roth. Other speakers include Lizzie Mary Cullen, Jeff Greenspan, Jon Hicks and more, many of which are shown here.
We particularly enjoy the Elevator Pitch, which sees 20 speakers present their work in speedy three-minute pitches.
Best design conferences: Brand New Conference
Happening next month in New York, the two-day Brand New Conference will focus on corporate and brand identity, offering talks from Hallmark's creative account manager Christine Taylor, Johnny Cupcakes CEO Johnny Earle, and creative director at Etsy Julia Hoffman.
The event will take place on 24 and 25 September at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Centre.
Photo by Drew Rios.
Best design conferences: Adobe Max
This year's Adobe Max conference is rapidly approaching, kicking off on 3 October, and we'll be there to bring you inspiration and advice from the many amazing and talented speakers from the event. It takes place in Los Angeles, and in addition to giving us our first look at new Creative Cloud features, we'll also see Adobe Sneak Peeks and many fantastic talks and workshops from illustrators, designers, photographers, filmmakers and more.
To give you a better idea of what to expect from this year's Adobe Max, check out these links:
Best design conferences: AIGA
The AIGA Design conference will take place in New Orleans between 8 and 10 October this year, with talks and workshops including "Make your own monogram," "The Future of UX Design," "Brand versus product design," "Building your online brand: How to stand out in a crowd," and more.
The conference is designed to bring together the creative community "to experience provocative speakers, local culture, exhibitions, professional development sessions and face-to-face roundtables with your design heroes," and with a huge variety of workshops and affinity sessions available to choose from, there's something there for everyone.
Best design conferences: Offset
Coming to London on 12 November, Offset is attracts both professional and student attendees by offering workshops, talks and discussions to help you enhance your skills, make all-important contacts within the creative industry and get career advice to help you achieve your dreams.
Offset will also be taking place in Dublin in April 2016, too.
Best design conferences: Webstock
Little is known about Webstock 2016 so far, but we expect it to be a big one as it'll represent the conference's 10th birthday. It's set to take place from 9 – 12 February in New Zealand's capital, Wellington.
Webstock has said that its 2016 conference will be a "celebration of truly epic proportions," specifically celebrating "the magic of the web and those who craft it."
You can watch some of the talks from Webstock 2015 here.
Image: Webstock on Flickr.
Best design conferences: Interaction
Set to take place in Helsinki, Finland on 2 – 4 March 2016, Interaction 16 will be the ninth year that this design conference has taken place. 2015's Interaction was held in San Francisco, and featured talks and workshops from people from Google, Twitter, Soundcloud, Facebook, Microsoft and many more.
So far for 2016 we know that Designswarm's Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino will be among the keynote speakers, as will Finnish entrepreneur and designer Marko Ahtisaari.
Best design conferences: SXSW
2015's South by SouthWest has been and gone, but we're already looking forward to 2016's conference that'll take place in Austin, Texus from 11 March until 15 March.
There are three parts to SXSW: Music, Film and Interactive. This year we saw the explosive launch of Meerkat, lots of new wearables and an influx of exciting robotics breakthroughs.
Next year, we already know that speakers include Giphy CEO Alex Chung, and Pinterest engineer Tracy Chou. Lots more will be chosen by attendees via the PanelPicker.
Best design conferences: HOW Design Live
Another US event now, this one taking place in Atlanta in May 2016. How Design Live is described as "everything you need to pursue a fulfilling, successful creative career – in one essential event."
We've got a little while to wait until we see the schedule for next year's conference, but you can get an idea of what to expect by taking a look at the 2015 schedule, which included talks such as "How to make hourly pricing work," "Be your own brand, be your own buzz," "Packaging of tomorrow," "Designing for the web," and "Responding to rip-offs."
Best design conferences: 99U
Behance's 99U conference is coming to New York City in May 2016.
"The goal of the 99U Conference is to shift the focus from idea generation to idea execution," reads its mission statement on its website. "Providing road-tested insights on how to make your ideas happen. We bring together some of the world's most productive creative visionaries and leading researchers to share pragmatic insights on how ideas are brought to life."
Best design conferences: OFFF Barcelona
Tickets for OFFF Barcelona 2016 are available now, set to begin on 26 May 2016. The three-day event features conferences, workshops, performances and other activities for designers of all types, and is suitable for both professionals and students.
Some of the workshop events have already been announced, including a typography-based workshop led by Letters Are My Friends and Art vs Design led by The Six and Five studio. Find out more on the OFFF website here.