When the HOW Design Live program team asked attendees for their feedback after last year’s conference, one comment jumped out: “Great speakers and information to enhance any designer or manager’s career.”
Career enhancement is HOW Design Live’s raison d’être. Of course, it’s powerful to be in a community of creative professionals like you, it’s interesting to explore a new city, and there are lots of fun receptions and special events. But the reason people show up is because they know it makes them better at their jobs. That career development translates into more professional satisfaction, more opportunity, more impact (and yes, more money).
Sessions to help you stay creatively inspired. When you’re working on the same design problems every day, burnout and in-a-rut solutions are unavoidable. But creative slumps aren’t just inconvenient, they can impact your career. Terri Trespicio’s presentation, Out of Juice: How to Replenish Your Creativity Well, promises to rekindle your inspiration and give you tools for maintaining your creative health.
Sessions to help build your professional skills. Check your job description: Chances are, InDesign proficiency is only one of the requirements. You’re not only responsible for executing a communication strategy—you have to pitch your ideas, work as part of a team, interact with other business functions. If you regularly present your work — to peers, higher-ups or folks in Marketing — you’ll want to take Megan Mead’s workshop, How NOT 2 Suck at Presenting.
Another job requirement: networking. Networking connects you with people who can help steer your career, throughout your career. And you can get started at HOW Design Live, with Ilise Benun’s session Tips and Tricks for 21st Century Networking. Then put Benun’s strategies to work during the rest of the conference.
Sessions to make you a better leader. How many creative managers are prepared with team-building and leadership skills when they land that first management promotion? We’re guessing zero. Don’t let this happen to you. If you’re on a management track within your company or agency, don’t miss Ed Roberts’s essential session, Just Promoted to Creative Director: What Should I Do?
Sessions to help you work better with others. What happens when your team gathers to review each other’s work? Chaos? Nit-picking? Universal admiration? None of these are helpful in evaluating creative output. Adam Connor of Mad*Pow will help creative groups be great at critique. You’ll get best practices and facilitation techniques to make your creative critiques more productive in his session, Discussing Design: Improving Team Communication and Collaboration Through Critique.
That’s just a handful of the career-building sessions on the HOW Design Live program this year. There’s also a “Who’s Who in Design” lineup of keynote speakers to inspire you to reach beyond your current capabilities. A series of Master Classes for in-house design leaders presented by IHAF. Plus a variety pack of sessions to improve your core skills, from color selection to typography to trends in interactive design.
HOW Design Live is the smartest investment in your creative career you can make. (Or that your company can make for you. Need help convincing your boss? Here’s your rationale.) Now’s the time. Make plans to meet us in Chicago and take charge of your professional future.