21 Design Conferences to attend in 2021

Our conference calendar with announced graphic, UX/UI, Product Design, and creativity conferences happening in 2021 is already pretty full. Currently, around 90 organizations have announced the dates for their upcoming event this year. Some are postponed due to Covid-19, while others are brand new or pivoted to a new fresh online conference format.

This year we added to the conference information: Online, Hybrid, or In-person. Because we assume that you want to know before buying a ticket if you can attend the event from home or have to book a flight and hotel/Airbnb as well. Like it was before 2020.
We can not guarantee that all the listed in-person events will take place. There are just too many uncertainties due to the global pandemic. Why did we include them in this list? Because based on their past track record, we know that the organizers will do everything in their power to give you an unforgettable inspiring experience.
By hybrid I mean, the local community attends the in-person version of an event and the international audience will watch the stream. Both watch the same recorded or live talk! Online means a live-stream of recorded or live presentations that you can watch from home on any device.

During the coming month's some of the listed events may be postponed or canceled. So if you want to stay up-to-date sign up for our weekly newsletter where we share all things related to design-driven conferences and have exclusive discounts and giveaways.

If you prefer to have all conferences show up in your calendar, you can buy our 2021 design conference database as an iCal file. Which works with all calendaring software. We will update it regularly, thought out the year. By buying this you support or work.

How to decide where to go?

When we attend an event we consider the speakers, the location, the ticket price, the event’s track record, and don’t forget the attendee list. Which before online events weren't shared that often, but is now a must. We also look if there are interesting workshop and network events, before, during, or after the conference. Pre-pandemic a bonus for us was attending locally organized side events and interesting exhibitions to visit.

21 design conferences happening in 2021

Design Matters Tokyo

Design Matters is a global community of digital creatives who love to explore and inspire each other to break new ground in digital design. The second edition of this digital design conference is hosting 23 talks along with a variety of workshops and social activities. The conference themes are 'Danish Design Attitude' and 'New Movements in Digital Design'.

  • When: 27 - 28 Jan 2021
  • Where: Hybrid / Tokyo, Japan
  • Ticket price: $165 - $495

Graphika

The sixteenth edition of Graphika, Asia's most influential creative conference takes place online. This two-day event host 10 of the world's top creative people. Including Austin Keen and Yuko Shimizu. Broadcasting from Manilla in the Philippines, Graphika streams their event in two timezones, from 1PM-7PM in Asia (GMT+8), with replays from 1PM-7PM in USA Eastern Time (EST UTC-5). All content will be available till 60days after the conference.

  • When: 6 - 7 Feb 2021
  • Where: Online
  • Ticket price: $33

MuseumNext Digital Summit

The MuseumNext Digital Summit is a five-day online event for museums looking for digital success. The Digital Summit offers you a huge program of talks with more than sixty speakers sharing their ideas, experiences, and innovations. All content will be available for six months after the event!

  • When: 22 - 26 Feb 2021
  • Where: Online
  • Ticket price: £120 - £240

Leading Design Festival

This new festival spends the whole month of March. It hosts design leadership activities including a three-day conference, weekly talks, masterclasses, mentoring sessions, and a host of other events. Conference speakers include Temi Adeniyi, UX Lead at Shopify, Julie Zhuo, Co-founder of Inspirit, and Noah Levin, Design Director at Figma.

  • When: 2 - 25 Mar 2021
  • Where: Online
  • Ticket price: $395 - $745

Elevate Festival

Elevate is an annual interdisciplinary festival held in various venues in Graz, Austria, with a strong focus on cultural and socio-political topics.
In addition to performances, concerts, installations and DJ sets, the interdisciplinary program offers workshops, film screenings, lectures and discussions.

  • When: 3 - 7 Mar 2021
  • Where: In-person / Graz, Austria
  • Ticket price: TBA

Huiput Creative Festival

Huiput Creative Festival offers new ideas and perspectives in a one-day virtual event. The event brings together Finnish and foreign forerunners in various creative practices to share their knowledge and inspirations. The festival's theme is CHANGE.

  • When: 4 Mar 2021
  • Where: Online
  • Ticket price: €90

DK Festival

This 3-day advertising festival invites the most exciting makers to take their round stage and talk about what is going on in the world today.

  • When: 15 - 18 Apr 2021
  • Where: In-person / Rovinj, Croatia
  • Ticket price: 2999 HRK + vat

Forward Festival Vienna

Forward Festival 2021 is all about the transformation of society through digitization in the creative scene. It raises questions about the virtualization of our lives and our work, especially during the 'new normal'. Forward Festival wants to be an eye-opener to the striking aspects of digitization – applied to design, creativity, and communication.

  • When: 15 - 16 Apr 2021
  • Where: Hybrid / Vienna, Austria
  • Ticket price: €85 - €199

OFFF Barcelona

20th edition of OFFF Barcelona! Born as a post-digital culture festival, now feeding the future through a 3-day design conference, workshops, and performances by the most relevant artists of our time. OFFF hosts innovative and international talents to share their insightful experiences. It’s the key meeting point for all talents around the world to unite and collaborate.

From Business to Buttons

Scandinavia’s premier User Experience and Service Design conference. It is a meeting place for everyone who wants inspiration, and hands-on advice, on how to generate business value by creating great experiences.

  • When: 7 May 2021
  • Where: Online
  • Ticket price: €899

beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf

This is number 10! Ten editions of beyond tellerrand in Düsseldorf. Join beyond tellerrand to celebrate 10 years of creativity, inspiration, learning, and meeting with a lovely group of people each and every year.
Note: This event was originally planned for April 27th and 28th, 2020

  • When: 10 - 12 May 2021
  • Where: In-person / Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Ticket price: TBA

Brand New: First Round NYC

A one-day showcase of original presentations made to clients showing initial design explorations for logo, identity, and branding projects. This New York event is the first in a series of in-person events happening in May and June of 2021. Cities that follow are London, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. In each city, the organizers invite the local leading brand agencies to showcase their original work.

  • When: 14 May 2021
  • Where: In-person / Variuos locations
  • Ticket price: $125/£125/€125

Berlin Letters

A festival bringing together professionals and amateurs of lettering, sign painting, calligraphy, and type design. Three days of inspiration, fun, and skillshare with international speakers, awesome workshops, and general jamboree.

  • When: 27 - 29 May 2021
  • Where: In-person / Berlin, Germany
  • Ticket price: TBA

UX Fest

UX Fest is a pivot of UX London. UXFest is an online celebration of digital design. Taking place throughout June 2021. The festival includes a three-day conference, a series of themed weekly talks, masterclasses, networking, and more. UX Fest is curated by Andy Budd.

  • When: 1 - 3 Jun 2021
  • Where: Online
  • Ticket price: TBA

Webconf.asia

After postponing two times due to Covis-19, the third edition of Webconf.asia is scheduled for June 4 and 5 2021! Webconf.asia is a conference for designers, developers, and all other people web, with inspiring talks and hands-on workshops. The conference will take place in the wonderful Tai Kwun conference venue and brings together the Hong Kong and Asian web community, next to an international audience.

By Design Conference

The seventh edition of this international multidisciplinary conference focused on design and business. For designers, entrepreneurs, and creative minds in Bratislava. By Design Conference brings together the world's most successful designers to share their personal experience and pragmatic insights on how to put theory into action. The event helps to educate people on how good design is born and how powerful it can be. Thanks to the real case studies, By Design offers the unique opportunity to explore the process and ideas that really work.

  • When: 12 Jun 2021
  • Where: In-person / Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Ticket price: TBA

The Design Conference

The Design Conference is an event for creatives. The event discusses more than the future of design — but what design means in the hearts and minds of the world's favorite creative leaders. By being transparent and vulnerable, the organizers engineer an experience that is designed to move, motivate, and connect your soul.

  • When: 15 - 18 Jun 2021
  • Where: In-person / Brisbane, Australia
  • Ticket price: TBA

Sónar+D

Sónar+D is an international congress that explores how creativity is changing our present and imagining new futures, in collaboration with researchers, innovators, and business leaders. Artists, creative technologists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, thinkers, scientists, entrepreneurs, makers, and hackers participate in a carefully commissioned program with the aim of inspiration and networking.

  • When: 17 - 19 Jun 2021
  • Where: Hybrid / Barcelona , Spain
  • Ticket price: TBA

IAM Weekend

The 7th edition of IAM Weekend. This annual gathering for creative thinkers & doers explores the future of the internet(s). The theme for 2021 is 'The Interbeingness of Citizenships'.

  • When: 16 - 18 Sept 2021
  • Where: In-person / Barcelona, Spain
  • Ticket price: TBA

Nordic.design

Due to Covid-19 Nordic.design was postponed to 2021. This festival-like one-day, single-track conference is all about UX, UI, design tools, workflows & more. Be enlightened, be challenged, and become a better designer.

  • When: 6 Oct 2021
  • Where: In-person / Stockholm, Sweden
  • Ticket: Sold Out

KIKK Festival

KIKK, a multi-track festival on the intersection of art, science & tech to explore the economic and artistic implications of new technologies. The conference is on Thursday and Friday, all exhibitions are also open on Saturday and Sunday. The festival gathers people of all backgrounds from all around the world. They are designers, scientists, makers, entrepreneurs, artists, architects, developers, or musicians.

  • When: 4 - 7 Nov 2021
  • Where: In-person / Namur, Belgium
  • Ticket price: TBA

Which conference are you attending?

If you plan to attend any of the mentioned conference 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.

Full conference overview in your calendar? Get it here.

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Have a great and inspiring year, 2021! ✌️

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