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5 Reasons You Must Go to HOW Design Live 2013

Designers! (And here we all picture the stern elegance of Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, locking his gaze with our over trim, gold-rimmed glasses.) If you haven’t already registered for HOW Design Live 2013, you’ve got just about a month left to rectify this grievous oversight.

In today’s post, I give you 5 sure-fire reasons to motivate your duff off the couch and get your boss aligned with the brilliant plan:

Reason #1: It’s the granddaddy of all design conferences.

As anyone disappointed by an overly twee slice of dessert can tell you: quality is key, but size also matters. HOW Design Live brings together four separate conferences, each angled to the exact needs of a particular constituency like freelancers, in-house designers, and so on. You’ll bump into literally thousands of designers from across the nation, yet the scale of events is manageably sized and always interactive enough to keep you engaged and less-than-apoplectically overwhelmed.

If you’re going to hit one graphic design conference annually, this would be it, kids.

Reason #2: A dream-team of awesome design speakers. 

I’m humbled to be joining HOW’s lineup of the brightest lights in the design world: Jessica Walsh of Sagmeister & Walsh, Debbie Millman of Sterling Brands, best-selling author Austin Kleon, Johnny Cupcakes … the list goes on. Whatever your pleasure, curiosity or skill you hope to acquire, chances are solid this year’s conference has got something to scratch that itch.

And now for the lone self-promotional plug you’ve find in this post: my talk “An Exceedingly Surprising Talk About Color” draws from my upcoming book ROY G. BIV. It’ll reveal bunches of surprising anecdotes and meanings embedded in that familiar paint-box set of colors you thought you new. Join me at 2 pm on Tuesday, June 25; I promise to jolt you out of your post-lunch stupor.

tiny micro adventure – 3rd floor by hokkey on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rvoegtli/4773982371/

Reason #3: Practice meets inspiration. 

One of the more unusual aspects of HOW Design Live — in my experience, at least — is how it blends the pragmatic with inspirational. Sure, we all need to be re-energized in our design practice, but the boss may or may not be inclined to underwrite a professional-vacation for you. What he or she may be more readily convinced to support is HOW’s wide variety of practical workshops, like Adobe Creative Cloud tutorials, crash courses in designing iPad and mobile apps (without coding!), refining your freelancer pricing or content strategy, and other real-world complaints we all face.

4 by rosmary on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rvoegtli/4773982371/

Reason #4: You gotta network.

Granted: your boss is unlikely to look kindly on the prospect of plumping up your job-switching potential — but you, sirs and mesdames, would do well to keep your networks active and thriving, even if you’re happy as a clam in your current gig.

Networking extends beyond the mundane job-hop. Smart networking brings you in closer contact with like-minded thinkers whose skills extend your own and allow you to form talented, capable project groups on the fly. HOW Design Live is chock-ful of occasions and excuses to bring you casually into contact with all sorts of useful contacts. Bring a shoebox full of business cards and resolve to blanket the joint with them before you go. I bet you manage it with no trouble.

5 by rosmary on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rvoegtli/4921145144/

Reason #5: San Francisco!

HOW’s annual conference roves across America, with a different locale each year. But I gotta say: San Francisco is a uniquely great vantage point for a gathering-place for all things design. Just strolling the streets is likely to fill your noggin with creative ideas like few other cities can.

So what are you waiting for? Register for HOW Design Live 2013 now. Here’s hoping we meet in person in SF this June!

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