Operation Nice’s Melissa is pretty much the Queen of HOW Design Conference. She’s one of the conference’s biggest advocates, an amazing designer, and this year she’s even speaking. So she was my obvious go-to when it came to letting you all know why not to miss next week’s conference. (Pssst… use the code ‘CRUSH’ for $100 off!)
10. Vacation, uh, I mean business trip – Get out of the office for a few days. You know you want to. And if you’re independent, you have a great excuse to put your clients on hold for a little while. “Oh sorry, umm, I’m going to a very important business conference. I can’t make your logo bigger today.”
9. Be around “your people” – There’s nothing quite like being in a building with thousands of other people that can appreciate your hatred of Papyrus. You can walk around the convention center and mutually scoff at the kerning in the directional signs.
8. Network it, girl (or guy)! – Meet some amazing people in the industry and pick their brains about their careers. Ever wanted to know what it’s like to design for a place like NETFLIX or Old Navy or Pabst? These are just a few of the companies I saw/stalked on the Who’s Attending list.
7. The sexiest lineup of speakers – And I’m not just saying that because I’m one of them. Okay, yes, yes I am. But seriously, Chip Kidd? Aaron Draplin? Debbie Millman? Swooooooon!
6. Buckets of inspiration – Four days of industry leaders sharing their insights and advice. How else are you going to get that? Reading books? Pssshhh.
5. Beantown – Chowda. The Sox. Newbury Street (shopping, holla). Boston is an awesome city with amazingly clean public transportation. Score.
4. Personal Growth, blah blah blah – You may learn a thing or two… thousand. With sessions on typography, software, brainstorming, branding, etc., you’re sure to pick up some tips that will make you a better designer, or really, just a better human being overall.
3. As the Beibs would say, SWAG – The resource center is like a designer’s candy shop, but free, and less sticky. Prints from French Paper Company, t-shirts from Veer, swatchbooks out the wazoo. Bring your fightin’ elbows and get the goods.
2. Many open bars – The way to a designer’s heart is through his/her liver, and most of the vendors realize this. There are always some amazing open bar events where you are encouraged to get a bit ridiculous on the dance floor. Just remember, every designer has an iPhone that is fully equipped to post videos to YouTube.
1. The real conference happens after the sessions are over – Some of the best conversations take place at the hotel lobby bar or on one of the numerous pub crawls that are organized over the course of the conference. This is when you can really get to know people and make lifelong friends. Awwww.
BONUS: The real reason why you should attend HOW is to find me and buy me a drink.