20+ design conferences to attend in 2020
AnnouncementBy Thomas Dahm,
Leap year 2020, will be a special year for lots of organizations. South-Africa based Design Indaba celebrates 25 years of cultural invention around the globe. OFFF Barcelona is celebrating its 20th anniversary. beyond tellerrand celebrates their 10th edition in Düsseldorf. Motion design-focused event Mouvo in Prague celebrates its fifth anniversary just like Us by Night, the Antwerp-based design and creativity night event.
Before you start scrolling down, there are a couple of things you have to know. This list is incomplete… and listed in chronological order. During the coming months, lots of events will announce their conference details and we will update this page with more design conferences. We're looking forward to this year.
There are a couple of ways to find out about newly announced events for 2020.
- Come back regularly to this page! 😀
- Subscribe to our weekly newsletter where we share all things related to design-driven conferences, and have exclusive discounts and give aways.
- If you prefer to have the conferences scheduled in your personal calendar, sign up here. This will be a paid feature, and cost €36 + transaction fees per year.
- I’m working on an iOS/Android webapp for 2020, without using code for which you can sign up here.
How to decide where to go?
When we attend a event we consider the speakers, the location, the ticket price, the event’s track record and don’t forget the attendee list (although, unfortunally not often shared). We also look if there are interesting workshop and network events, before, during or after the conference. Bonus for us are attending locally organized side events and interesting exhibitions to visit.
20+ Design Conferences happening in 2020
— January 2020
In/Visible Talks 2020
When: January 16, 2020
Where: San Francisco, USA
In/Visible Talks is a conference for creative professionals that celebrates the art of design. The theme for the 3rd edition is ‘GO BEYOND’. Go beyond the expected perspectives, guardrails, materials, and thinking. The one-day, one-track conference is founded in 2018 by Dava Guthmiller and Arianna Orland.
New Adventures 2020
When: January 22, 2020
Where: Nottingham, UK
New Adventures’ fifth adventure, will explore speculative, strategic and critical design, radical inclusivity, climate and sustainability and the perennial question of what happens next.
New Adventures 2020 will form a clear narrative addressing significant issues facing humanity: the climate crisis and what design-minded practitioners can do about it; privilege and modern ethics; speculative design and the ways designers can encourage conversations to serve people better, and avoid ethical catastrophes in the future.
Awwwards Conference Tokyo 2020
When: January 22, 2020
Where: Tokyo, Japan
The team behind Awwwards brings their The Digital Thinkers conference to an iconic city across the globe twice a year. The two-day event includes a conference and networking activities. It is about creating new experiences to sell more and to discover trends, new technologies, network and unveil the secrets of the Internet.
— February 2020
Mouvo vol. 5
When: February 21-22, 2020
Where: Prague, Czech Republic
Mouvo, a combination of Mouches Volantes, is a two-day festival presenting motion design in all of its forms. The program shows the dynamic field of motion design, combining graphic design, animation, video, special effects and new technologies. Mouvo vol. 5 focuses on the entertaining aspects of motion design. Games, TV shows, music videos, live performances and also how to design by playing and having fun.
When: February 24-25, 2020
Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Now in its 13th year, FITC Amsterdam features innovative, technical and creative talks that will inspire you to pursue your dreams and create your very best work. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with people who share your creative passion, whether in the exhibitor hall or at one of the legendary after-parties. These like-minded individuals who have the potential to become key collaborators throughout your career. FITC organizes several events throughout the year, mostly in Toronto.
Design Indaba Conference 2020
When: February 26-28, 2020
Where: Cape Town, South Africa
Design Indaba started as a conference in 1995 with the vision that creativity would fuel an economic revolution in South Africa. Design Indaba is about how creativity is creating a better world and present the most relevant talents across all creative sectors who are working on a better world. In 2020 Design Indaba celebrates its 25th anniversary in Cape Town, South Africa.
LADFEST - Latin AmericanDesign
When: February 27-29, 2020
Where: Lima, Peru
The sixth edition of Latin American Design Festival LADFEST, gathering in Lima with recognized designers from Latin America and the world. LADFEST will be held in Museo de la Nación in Lima. The festival features lectures, workshops, exhibitions, a design market, and young talent. A selection of the best Latin American designers and creatives up to 30 years old will present their projects at the festival.
— March 2020
IAM Weekend 2020
When: March 19-21, 2020
Where: Barcelona, Spain
The sixth edition of IAM Weekend, the best weekend of the year for internet people. IAM researches, together with leading institutions, media companies, brands and collectives around the globe, the evolution of the internet as culture(s). This year's research theme is “The Weirdness of Interdependencies".
UX Copenhagen 2020
When: March 30 - 31, 2020
Where: Copenhagen, Denmark
The sixth edition of UX Copenhagen a premium, two-day conference for professionals working with and around User Experience (UX) Design. You will hear about some of the newest trends in UX and Design, presented by a diverse panel of speakers ranging from gurus to people new to the field, from companies that range from being front-runners in User Experience to those who are just starting to create UX teams. UX Copenhagen always feature startups and strive to bring in speakers and participants who are taking User Experience to a new level. This year the conference focus on "Influence & Designing for Good"
- Related article: 5 Design Conferences to attend in Copenhagen
AIGA Design Conference 2020
When: March 30-April 1, 2020
Where: Pittsburgh, USA
With a design fair, AIGA’s signature design competition, morning and afternoon sessions, the AIGA Design Conference promises to be a packed event. General sessions on the mainstage are hosted by Roman Mars, creator, and host of the design podcast 99% Invisible. Expect Roman to facilitate insightful conversations with the speakers after their presentations and to offer his trademark thought-provoking commentary.
— April 2020
STRP Festival 2020
When: April 2-5, 2020
Where: Eindhoven, NL
STRP Festival is a critical optimistic exploration into positive futurism and the role that artists and technology can play. The festival initiates, produces and presents innovative art and visions whereby creative technology has a significant role.
When: April 3-4, 2020
Where: Dublin, Ireland
The eleventh edition of OFFSET Dublin. OFFSET Dublin presents interesting and exciting practitioners from the fields of Graphic Design, Photography, Animation, Illustration, Fashion, Film, Industrial Design, and Art. Expect to meet 2,500 like-minded people in Dublin on the first weekend of April 2020.
When: April 16-17, 2020
Where: Vienna, Austria
The idea behind the Forward Festival is to create a festival where the creative community can exchange opinions, inspire and learn from each other. Forward brings together international and local creative heads, who provide insights into their success stories in an exciting atmosphere. The conference, the centerpiece of the festival, is accompanied by various side events such as workshops, live art sessions, and networking events. The core ambition of the festival is to bring each other´s ideas, projects and goals FORWARD. Forward Festival organizes several events throughout the year in Munich, Zurich, Hamburg and of course Vienna.
When: April 20-24, 2020
Where: San Francisco, USA
SmashingConf is a friendly, inclusive event that focuses on front-end and UX but it covers everything web. Expect a 2-day, single-track event with 14 speakers, 300–400 attendees and a bunch of hands-on workshops. Speakers rarely show slides: they show how they work — their setup, techniques, and shortcuts for getting work done in live interactive sessions. So expect everything from refactoring and debugging to sketching and redesign, live. SmashingConf organizes several events throughout the year in Austin, Freiburg and New York
OFFF Barcelona 2020
When: April 23-25, 2020
Where: Barcelona, Spain
20th anniversary of OFFF Barcelona. OFFF is a three-day journey of conferences, workshops, activities, and performances, hosting innovative and international talents to share their insightful experiences with the community. OFFF is for those who are eager to learn, participate and get inspiration from all talents around the world. Next to the event in Barcelona, there are multiple OFFF events around the world, like Bogota, Sevila, Vienna, Tel Aviv, Moscow, and Kyiv.
beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf 2020
When: April 27-29, 2020
Where: Düsseldorf, Germany
10th anniversary of beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf, an event for web and design enthusiasts. The main conference is taking place on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th and as usual, there are a lot of other things planned around those dates with side events and workshops. Throughout the year beyond tellerrand organizes conferences in Munich, Berlin and Düsseldorf.
— May 2020
When: May 4-5, 2020
Where: Cape Town, South Africa
Pixel Up! is by designers for designers. With an inspiring program, you will learn from a diverse group of speakers including local and international designers. Expect 3 days of thought-provoking talks and energizing workshops to improve your craft and help advance your career.
When: May 6-9, 2020
Where: Leuven, Belgium
The second edition of this conference and music festival and& in Leuven. and& is a one of a kind summit and festival at the intersection of health, high-tech, and creativity.
During the day the program is tailor-made for those who are eager to immerse their minds in innovation for a more conscious world. At night, the program is curated around music and art performances that intrigue.
The Design Conference 2020
When: May 21-23, 2020
Where: Brisbane, Australia
The Design Conference is an experience which is designed to leave you feeling moved, motivated and connected.
The Design Conference is an event for creatives. The Design Conference discuss and explores what design means in the hearts and minds of the worlds favourite creative leaders. By being transparent and vulnerable. The Design Conference experience is designed to move, motivate, educate and connect.
CXI Brand Conference
When: May 29, 2020
Where: Bielefeld, Germany
The 12th edition of CXI Brand talks! CXI is a one-day brand and corporate identity event organized by Bielefeld School of Design. During the sessions questions like "What defines the effectiveness of a corporate identity project?", "What exactly is needed, from both client and agency?", and "how can such a complex process be implemented in a way that works?" will be addressed, next to showcasing re-designs for big brands. Selected clients and agencies will be showing TOGETHER how things look from both sides of the partnership, identifying problem areas and presenting solutions.
— June 2020
99U Conference 2020
When: June 3-5, 2020
Where: New York, USA
The 12th edition of 99U Conference. 99U is a doer’s conference to shift the focus from idea generation to idea execution. Talks are peppered with insights and tips from successful designers and entrepreneurs. Hands-on workshops and expert-hosted master classes offer a chance to dive into a range of creative disciplines, frameworks, and trends.
- Interview with Matias Corea: Share your personal story
- Interview with Matt McCue former Editor-in-Chief at 99U
Eyeo Festival 2020
When: June 8-11, 2020
Where: Minneapolis, USA
Eyeo Festival brings together a community of creative coders, data designers, and creators working at the intersection of data, art, and technology for talks, workshops, labs, and events.
Eyeo Festival includes 4 days of talks, unique workshops and thought-provoking interactions lead by passionate thinkers and makers.
When: June 17-20, 2020
Where: Barcelona, Spain
Created in 2013, Sónar+D is an international conference, organized by Sonar Festival, exploring the relationship between creativity and technology, and the digital transformation of the cultural industries involved. The conference takes place in Barcelona’s Fira Montjuïc and brings together leading artists, creative technologists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, thinkers, scientists, entrepreneurs, makers and hackers from around the world to present initiatives and tools that will shape future creative experiences in the fields of music, visuals, interactive content and transmedia platforms.
Sónar. Music, Creativity & Technology
A pioneering European festival started in 1994, Sónar is renowned for its unique format and musical program that showcases the latest trends in dance and electronica as well as those artists pushing the limits of musical expression.
When: August 26–29, 2020
Where: Hong Kong
This third edition of Webconf.asia was postponed because of the ongoing protest in Hong Kong in autumn of 2019, is now happening August. Webconf.asia a conference and workshop series featuring great talks with practical advice from international web experts. Next to a full day of presentations Webconf.asia hosts multiple workshops on the days before the conference.
— September 2020
When: September 17-18, 2020
Where: Hamburg, Germany
The NEXT Conference is a two-day knowledge festival in Hamburg. NEXT explores the complexities of the digital era through multidisciplinary perspectives. Together with about 1.500 digital minds you learn about the latest trends and shift their perspectives on digital business in masterclasses, keynotes, and workshops. NEXT is during Reeperbahn Music Festival, Hamburg.
Us by Night
When: September 24-26, 2020
Where: Antwerp, BE
The fifth edition of Us by Night a design & creativity festival that turned into a unique night experience. With an inspiring lineup of 70+ artists and an endless market, it is guaranteed to provide you 3 nights you don't want to miss.
- Interview with Rizon Parein curator of Us by Night
— October 2020
Design Thinking Conference 2020
When: October 8-10
Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Design Thinking Conference is an experimental, interactive and high-energy gathering of experienced design thinking practitioners from around the world. Highly inspired by theatre the Design Thinking Conference is not a traditional conference, it is an experimental format to challenge both the speakers (our actors) and the audience (supporting actors). It aims to enrich participants an wants them to have fun and to be surprised.
No time, no money? No worries. Many events listed above offer a livestream or a video recording of their event (often for free). Next to that they often offer scholarships to reach a broader audience and encourage attendance from practitioners typically overlooked or under-represented in the industry. An other alternative is to volunteer at your preferred event and see both sides of the conference. In our weekly newsletter we often have exclusive discount codes for listed conference in our calendar. Sign up here.
Where are you going?
If you’re planning to attend any of the listed events and have a question, hit the chat. I am happy to help you. And if you want to share your experience, drop us a line, on twitter, email or in the chat.
Have a great and inspiring year, 2020! ✌️
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