Andy Epstein’s Personalized HOW Design Live

I’m excited for HOW Design Live—May 12 – 16 in Boston—for a lot of the same reasons HOWies look forward to it every year. There’s the quality of the speakers (if I do say so myself)—design stars and thought leaders you’ll never find under the same roof anyplace else; the thoughtful mix of tactical and strategic sessions with case studies and creative inspiration; and the opportunities to meet and catch up with other designers and creative professionals.

And this year, HOW is giving attendees the freedom to customize their experience by choosing any session, workshop, or networking event at any of the five conferences.

So here are a few highlights from my HOW Design Live. I hope I’ll see you there (and especially at the In-House Management Conference, which I helped organize).Make sure you get your registration in by April 1 so that you can save $200.

My HOW Design Live: Old Friends and Laughs Mixed with Serious Strategy


Monday, May 12

First and foremost, I’m going to make time to connect with colleagues I rarely get to see in person— Sam Harrison, Stefan Mumaw and Todd Henry, to name a few. And I’d urge anyone attending who has an itch to speak with a speaker to gather up your courage, walk right up to them and strike up a conversation. They’re all really nice people who are committed to the design community and ready to pay it forward.

HOW Design Live, Stefan Mumaw1:00 – 4:00 PM
Comedy Improv Training for Creatives
with Stefan Mumaw, Callahan Creek
HOW Design Conference
This should be a really fun and enlightening way to start off the conference. We all know creatives are funny people—improv can be a great way to shake off inhibitions and access design inspiration.

Tuesday, May 13

Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception, HOW Design Live9:00 – 10:00 AM
Debbie Millman Interviews Seth Godin
General Session
I’m very interested in hearing Seth Godin’s ideas in person. He’s got a lot to say about topics that are important to the work we do: the way ideas spread, marketing, leadership and change, for instance.

7:00 PM
To me when it comes to Boston, it’s all about the seafood. So I’m planning on rounding up some friends to go to the Summer Shack. I know it’s touristy, but it’s informal, fun and the food is really good.

Wednesday, May 14

10:15 – 11:15 AM
We’re Not Here to Make Sense
with Able Parris and Mark Pollard, Big Spaceship
HOW Leadership Conference
This session promises to introduce me to insights about what I don’t know that I don’t know. How could I resist?

©Rebecca Emily Drobis All Rights Reserved  Author Daniel Pink11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
THIS ONE’S A CAN’T-MISS: To Sell is Human
with Dan Pink, Author
General Session
I’ve read everything by Dan Pink and love how he bridges the right- and left-brain worlds, so I’m definitely going to hear his talk.

2:00 – 3:00 PM
Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design
with Maria Giudice, Facebook
HOW Design Conference
This session covers a topic that, as an in-house designer, I’m very passionate about—so I want to hear Maria’s take on it.

Thursday, May 15

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Proof Positive: The Advantage of Being an In-House Design Team
with Byron Reaves, Beam Inc
The Dieline Conference
It’s so helpful to get an insider’s perspective of how other successful in-house teams operate. I hope to get some steal-able ideas at this session.

David Sherwin4:30 – 5:30 PM
Creating Creative Superteams
with David Sherwin, frog
In-House Management Conference
I’ve been leading in-house creative teams for 22 years, but I’m always open to new ideas for encouraging and empowering my team and helping them work together even better.

Friday, May 16

9:45 – 10:45 AM
Innovating From Within
with Justin Knecht, LUMA Institute
In-House Management Conference
Justin is coming to talk about a hot-button issue: how in-house designers can drive innovation not just in their teams but throughout an entire organization.

Oh, one more thing: Gary Lynch, the head honcho at HOW, is really fun to tease, so I’m going to ambush him whenever I get a chance …


For a Limited Time Only: The next 200 people to register for HOW Design Live will receive a signed copy of HOW Leadership Conference Program Chair Debbie Millman’s handcrafted felt-on-felt typographic art piece, created as a poster for the 2014 HOW Design Live. You can still save $200 if you sign up by April 1!

This poster is an abridged version of David Foster Wallace’s quote on leadership from his work, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays.