If you’re a creative by trade (or on that side hustle!), or if you’re just looking for ways to expand your personal creativity, a conference or retreat might be up your alley. Not only do conferences offer a unique chance to learn from some of the most inspiring names in the biz; they also provide a multitude of opportunities to connect and network with other like-minded creatives. Thankfully, when it comes to inspiring, creative gatherings, there’s something for just about everyone. Whether you’re prepared to drop some cash and invest in a cross-country getaway or you’re looking for something simpler and more cost-effective, here are some of our favorite options to get your wheels turning.
1. Cherry on Top, August 16-19, 2018, Marfa, TX: A sweet combination of creative and cerebral, Cherry on Top is a free (!) gathering in the always-inspiring west Texas desert, touting art and film classes, yoga and meditation, a film festival, topical panel discussions, and a pop-up creative market. If you’re looking to engage your mind, body, and spirit and mingle with other creatives in a gorgeous setting, this empowering retreat might be up your alley. But make sure to plan your trip ASAP, since this one is right around the corner. (Photo via Cherry on Top)
2. Yellow Conference, August 23-24, 2018, Los Angeles, CA: Rooftop mimosas with like-minded creatives and entrepreneurs? We’re booking our tickets now! The Yellow Conference — an extension of the entrepreneurial community Yellow Co. — is an annual LA-based gathering for creatives who want to use their hustle for the good of humankind. A high-end venue, a top-notch speaker lineup, and attendee cocktail mixers make this creative gathering one you won’t want to miss.
3. #CreateGood, August 24-September 27, 2018, Los Angeles, CA (and New York, TBA): At Brit + Co., we’re all about empowering women to create good in their lives and communities. That’s why we’re so excited to host #CreateGood, an interactive four-week event dedicated to helping women find inspiration from the inside out. Whether you need a few minutes for self-care or a bold challenge to break out of your comfort zone, we’ve got you covered, with gorgeous art installations, musical performances, creative workshops, beauty nights, and so much more. (Photo via Brittany Griffin/Brit + Co)
4. Create & Cultivate, August 25, 2018, Chicago, IL: If you want to learn about the ever-evolving digital landscape, the art of the #sidehustle, or simply how to bring your creative career to the next level, Create & Cultivate — which bills itself as a “one-stop shop for the creative millennial businesswoman” — is your chance. At this one-day gathering stacked with networking opportunities and practical career advice, you’ll hear from speakers like Whitney Port, Jennifer Hudson, and Ashley Tisdale about what it means to be a modern working woman in the creative realm.
5. Circles Conference, September 19-21, 2018, Fort Worth, TX: Each year, designers, illustrators, and creative directors head to Fort Worth for a chance to learn from industry professionals and collaborate with other creatives. Though this three-day gathering is specifically for those in the design space, its heavy focus on craft will benefit anyone who wants to pursue excellence and innovation in their creative work.
6. Story 2018, September 20-21, 2018, Nashville, TN: If you consider yourself a storyteller in any sense of the word — whether you’re a writer, designer, maker, or simply someone who wants to inspire others — don’t skip this soulful Southern gathering, which some call “TED for creatives.” Equal parts inspiration and instruction, this year’s conference is centered on the theme of “wonder,” with all of its workshops and keynotes geared toward reawakening a fresh sense of possibility in your creative work. (Photo via Story)
7. Portland Creative Conference, September 28, 2018, Portland, OR: A nonprofit arts fundraiser benefiting K-12 art programs in Oregon, this one-day conference is essentially a meeting of the minds for anyone working in a creative field. According to its site, the event has a singular purpose: to explore and celebrate the creative process. Come to Portland to hear visionaries from across industries share their best strategies and practices for strengthening their creative work; leave with a newfound appreciation for the city’s thriving cultural landscape (and probably a suitcase full of souvenirs).
8. Creative South, April 11-13, 2019, Columbus, GA: A weekend of creative exploration and collaboration, Creative South is chock-full of workshops, speakers on the creative process, and opportunities to connect with others in the design community. Think a creative conference might benefit your career but not sure how to get the ball rolling? Creative South’s site has a “Convince Your Boss” page to help you start a convo about your organization approving time away from the office — and potentially covering the cost of attending the gathering. (Photo via Creative South)
9. 99U Conference, May 8-10, 2019, New York City, NY: Ready to supercharge your creative work? Check out the Adobe 99U Conference in New York. With TED-Talk-esque keynotes that transcend creative industries and expert-hosted breakout sessions on evergreen topics like productivity, teamwork, and leadership, this gathering is ideal for any creative professional looking to get inspiration from creative leaders or connect with potential collaborators. Plus, any excuse to visit NYC. (Photo via 99U)
Have you ever attended a creative conference? What was it like? Tweet us about your experience @BritandCo!