Get your copy of the  2020 Gartner Market Guide for Digital Asset Management
The Best Creative Conferences to Attend in 2021 (and Beyond)

The Best Creative Conferences to Attend in 2021 (and Beyond)

The digital universe is evolving with astonishing speed. More and more creative teams are becoming accountable for managing the brand, resources and supporting a multitude of digital channels with visual content. One of the best ways of keeping up with the latest trends, best practices and solutions is selecting a few conferences to attend, and dedicate a few days to intense learning and networking with peers.

Here, we’ve put together a list of some of the top creative conferences to attend. Let’s get to the list!

Break Free From Asset Chaos
Get a Free Demo

Online Conferences

In 2021, many of the conferences that would typically happen in person are now going virtual! It's the perfect opportunity to gain value from a new conference without the added expense of flights and hotels.

Seattle Interactive Conference (SIC)

February 2021 // Online

The Seattle Interactive Conference is great for creatives that can’t help but be fascinated by data and technology. SIC explores and celebrates the intersection of technology, creativity and industry. It puts a spotlight on how data and technology can help creative teams make better, more intentional choices while celebrating the beauty of creative thinking. Each year, about 5000 creatives and 30 keynote speakers join this Seattle-based conference.

South by Southwest (SXSW)

March 2021 // Online

The Austin-based South by Southwest made the list, as it’s not just a conference - it’s an extravaganza! Incorporating media, design, technology and music, this event draws attendees from all over North America and is known for being one of the most influential events of the year. While SXSW will be hosted online for 2021, it’s still a top choice for creative professionals at every level. SXSW allows you to learn, explore, and connect in new ways with design. Between the dynamic talk sessions, screenings, showcases and design exhibitions, be prepared to leave inspired.

Creative Pro Week

May 2021 // Online

Normally taking place in Washington, DC, CreativePro Week is known as one of the world’s most effective “How-to” conferences, providing sessions about layout, editing, illustration, design, production and more! No matter if you’re just starting out or are an expert in your craft, this conference will provide the opportunity to improve or learn about design programs, see what trends are coming down the pipe and build industry connections. Bonus! This year, Creative Pro Week is offering virtual conference passes, where you can receive access to all sessions, handouts of speaker presentations, attendee-only chat forums and more.

International Design Conference (IDC)

September 2021 // Online

Organized by the Industrial Designers Society of America, IDC – International Design Conference is a “landmark” event that has been three years in the making. Taking place in New Orleans, the theme of the event is to highlight the positive impact of design collaboration. This will be achieved by showcasing multi-disciplinary design and hosting an open dialogue between its attendees and guest speakers. At IDC, no matter your design background, you will have the ability to connect with fellow designers and spark discussions around common design challenges and themes.

Adobe Max

October 2021 // Online

Being one of the largest creative conferences in North America, Adobe Max hosts 12,000 attendees and offers over 300 sessions, labs, workshops and more. Whether you attend to perfect your skills, meet your favourite designers, or to explore trends in future design, Adobe Max has something for everyone! Join your fellow graphic designers, illustrators, videographers, web and UX designers, photographers, and creative directors by registering to attend the conference!

In-Person Conferences

While they're in short supply, here are some conferences that are still planning to host in-person (as of now).

Future of Branding Week

July 2021 // London, England

Future of Branding Week is the perfect choice for creatives, strategists or anyone who is passionate about branding. Attend and learn about how leading brands in London are disrupting the industry by using new channels and evolving technologies.  With mini-workshops, round-table discussions, studio visits and more, you’ll be sure to get a taste of some of the most influential agencies in the world.

Mindcamp

August 2021 // Orillia, Ontario

Mindcamp is a top choice for creatives who want to learn! This conference is like a university boot-camp as it offers 5 days of courses focused on personal, professional and organizational creativity. In addition to learning, Mindcamp offers music, dialogue sessions, and fun evening events.

Summit Palm Desert

November 2021 // La Quinta, California

Summit Palm Desert strives to bring creative leaders together to the desert, where they can experience stillness, perspective and connection. Transforming La Quinta Resort into a “Summit Neighbourhood” this premier gathering is backdropped by a luxury spa, rolling landscapes and onsite restaurants. Like other Summit conferences, this event is organized by six pillars: talks, performances, culinary, art, wellness and impact. The conference is designed to provide unique opportunities and experiences, which in turn can inspire new perspectives.

Summit Palm Desert is an invitation-only event, however, you can submit an application for consideration.

ShowIT United

November 2021 // Tempe, Arizona

ShowIT by United, is a conference specifically for photographers. In this 4-day event, you will learn how to transform your photography business through speaker sessions and workshops focusing on building your brand, SEO strategy, pricing your work and much more! Not only will you learn and obtain keys valuable to your success, you will also connect with industry leaders and like-minded creatives. Early registration is recommended, as this conference fills up fast!

Unannounced Conferences

While these conferences have yet to announce dates for 2021, we still think they’re worth taking a peek at (while we eagerly wait for them to provide more details).

Awwwards Conference

Awwwards hosts a series of conferences across the globe, ranging from Toronto all the way to Amsterdam. Connecting designers and developers alike, its focus is on providing like-minded individuals with inspiring talks from industry leaders and international networking opportunities. Over the 2-day conference, design and technology innovators share their knowledge with thousands of creatives. If you can’t make it to the live show, they also share a vast library of talks on their site.

Cre8Con

If you’re short on time but still want to feel inspired, we have a conference for you! Cre8Con, otherwise known as the Portland Creative Conference, is a one-day event that is an “exploration and celebration of the creative process across all creative industries”. While the event is only one day, it made our list, as is hosts creatives from Nike and other recognizable brands – you’ll be sure to leave inspired and motivated.  This conference is also unique in the fact that its proceeds go to “Keeping the Arts” a non-profit in the Portland area which funds K-12 arts programs.

Creative Works

Creative Works is perfect for creatives who have the desire to make things better. This conference aims to help you break through barriers, and help you become the designer you have always wanted to be. With a handful of guest speakers who are offering their knowledge, stories of success and failure, and practical tips, you’ll leave inspired and ready to improve your craft.

Eyeo Festival

"Converge to inspire" is Eyeo Festival's tagline, and they do not fall short of this. The conference brings together a community that is passionate about art, data and creative technology. Spanning 4 days, the conference includes amazing talks, unique workshops and interactions about culture, interactive art, artificial intelligence, experience design and much more.

Postponed Conferences

While these conferences made the tough decision to postpone their conferences, now's the perfect time to start planning for 2022. Get registered early with the conferences below.

Summit at Sea

May 2022 // Port Everglades, Florida

Summit at Sea will bring 1,700 creative leaders to the open seas for three days of experiences! This three-day event is organized by six pillars: talks, performances, culinary, art, wellness and impact -  offering over 40 talks and 30 performances, as well as wellness sessions, gourmet food, and more! This conference is designed to provide unique opportunities and experiences, which in turn can inspire new perspectives.

Summit at Sea is an invitation-only event, however, you can submit an application for consideration.

World Domination Summit

June 2022 // Portland, Oregon

The World Domination Summit is a top recommendation for creative entrepreneurs. Its core principles focus on community, adventure and service, all of which aim to provide a positive impact on the world. With a wide range of activities and session topics, you will build dynamic new skills, learn from innovative thinkers and establish relationships with some of the best creatives.

Circles Conference

September 2022 // Fort Worth, Texas

This three-day Circles Conference is tailored for designers, techies, and creators as it focuses on design, illustration, creative direction and UX design. With numerous guest speakers and workshops on art/creative direction, web and digital design, user experience, illustration and more you'll leave with a fresh spark of passion for your craft.  covering a variety of topics such as finding your creative identity, logo creation and choosing change-making clients, there is endless learning opportunity. Not only that, this event is based in Fort Worth, (just right outside Dallas Texas), and is a breeze to get to!

Brand New Conference

September 2022 // Austin, Texas

A deviation from the famous UnderConsideration blog, Brand New Conference focuses on corporate and brand identity. This conference made our list, as you can expect it to be like its blog, which focuses on redesigns and new designs of some of the most influential brands in the world. With guest speakers attending from across the globe, this event will include a variety of sessions offering different perspectives, and experiences from different design environments.

What did we miss?  Reach out on Twitter if there are conferences that you’d recommend for creatives. Where will your creativity take you?

MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.

You May Also Enjoy

Get the latest content on marketing, design and digital asset management
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.