HOW Design Live: A Conference That Never Gets Old

I'm still coming off the high of HOW Design Live, an annual conference that brings together creative professionals from across the country (and globe) to learn new design tricks and career and management strategies, network with their peers, and get inspired. This year's event was in San Francisco (no flight required since I live about 30 minutes south of the city, with no traffic) from June 22-26. It's actually my eighth consecutive year attending the conference – and I'm not even a designer. TCG is HOW's career partner, and I've attended every year to help with our Portfolio Review and other conference-related events.

I still remember my first HOW conference vividly, being relatively fresh out of college and new to the design industry. It was also my first "official" business trip as a PR specialist. That the event was held in Las Vegas was certainly exciting, but perhaps more eye-opening was the energy and enthusiasm everyone I met, talked to and observed had – from the attendees and speakers to the entire HOW team. It sounds corny, but after that experience, I knew I found an industry and job I liked – and here I am, eight years later!

While it's always a busy few days, the conference is reinvigorating – whether you're a first-time conference goer or repeat attendee, like me. I love seeing and catching up with the HOW staff (who I work with regularly but only get to see once or twice a year); speakers (like Sam Harrison and Ilise Benun) we've featured in white papers, articles and other thought leadership pieces; and thousands of creative folks gathered in one place, at one time. It truly never gets old. I'm already looking forward to next year's event to be held in Boston from May 12-16.

While I could go on and on about this amazing conference, I'll let the following pictures do the talking. It's just a taste of the activities that we were involved in; you can see more photos on our Facebook page.


TCG executive director Donna Farrugia takes the stage to give a preview of our new Creative Team of the Future research during her session at the InHOWse Managers Conference.


We always try to come up with a fun theme for the Networking Kickoff we host that fits the venue. This year, we invited people to play our "Breaking Bread" icebreaker game – and folks seemed to eat it up! (We even had several people ask if they could take a bite of our decorative sourdough loaves.) 


The Portfolio Review is always a signal that the conference is coming to a close, but it's one of the gems of the event. Designers get a chance to have their portfolios reviewed by industry leaders, including many of the conference speakers, and show off their work to other attendees.

Did you attend HOW Design Live in San Francisco this year? What were your greatest memories?

Tags: Events