An Inside Look at HOW Design Live 2013

There is something very special about the opening of HOW Design Live. It brings together thousands of creative professionals from the InHOWse Managers Conference, Creative Freelancer Conference, Dieline Packaging Design Conference and the HOW Design Conference all in one place.

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Writers, designers, managers and creative directors are here to be inspired, meet new friends and connect with old colleagues. Spilling from the Networking Happy Hour sponsored by The Creative Group into a large auditorium, the attendees were discussing the sessions or the workshops that they had participated in that day, sharing which ones were their favorites. The buzz is contagious.

This year’s keynote speaker Austin Kleon, best selling author of “Steal Like An Artist,” was engaging and inspiring. Austin shared that no idea is original and that we should expose ourselves to all kinds of inspiration, decide what is worth stealing and take it. But the important thing is not to stop there—make it your own, make it better and then share it with others. Clearly, I am not the only one who thought this speech was inspiring, as the book signing line following the closing stretched clear beyond the bookstore for hours.

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Shortly after the opening, the stampede to the Exhibit Hall Opening Reception sponsored by Mohawk began. The huge empty space I saw earlier in the morning has been transformed into booths from the industry’s best companies. With so many free goodies (paper samples, t-shirts and more) available to attendees, I know pack and ship will be busy tomorrow.

Day one of HOW Design Conference was equally as engaging and inspiring. During the general sessions this morning, Jessica Walsh reminded us of the power of play in both our personal and professional lives. Her portfolio of work served as evidence that this mindset of collaboration and exploration can yield powerful results.

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And the always delightful Debbie Millman shared her journey with us, noting how failure can sometimes result in profound growth and opportunity.

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Look for more HDL updates and takeaways from the day one breakout sessions soon…

Want more insights from Debbie Millman? Be sure to pick up Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits from My Design Shop.

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