Official 2018 Site to Launch September 2017—Make sure to check back!

HOW Design Live

Ignite Your Passion. Create Your Future.

April 30 – May 3, 2018 | Boston

Special Events

Special Events

We know you come to HOW Design Live to fill up those inspiration reserves, network, and grow your skillset—but who says you can’t have fun at the same time? Not us, my friend. That’s why, over the next few months, we’ll be rolling out all kinds of big news about the exhibits, activities and special extras that make HOW so much fun to attend.

That means new activities that are going to happen outside the walls of the hotel so you get the chance to really connect with the amazing city of Chicago. We won’t just be visiting a city this year; our goal is to engage with it.

The best way to stay up-to-date is to make sure you’re signed up for the conference newsletter and to keep opening those emails. We’ll be spilling more details soon! For now, here is a preview of some of the annual events that are back by popular demand!




If HOW Design Live is going to be the extra large, all-the-toppings, Chicago-style deep dish pizza event we know it’s going to be, then HOW Connection is going to be the appetizer designed to make those little glands in your neck tingle with anticipation. It’s not a networking event, those are lame. This is a ‘meet your new best friend’ event that gives you at least one story of questionable decision-making to post about on your social feeds. 

The goal of HOW Connection is simple: give you a reason to meet someone new so when you walk into that session 3 days later, there’s someone there motioning you over with that subtle head nod we all need in life. To do this, we’re going to enter the absurdity space early with a game akin to ‘Human Madlibs’, those fill-in-the-blank word games you used to play in the way-back of your parent’s station wagon. Only this time, there’s going to be 1500 people in the way-back with you. Stefan Mumaw is the host, and he’ll make it as fun as possible because he knows a little something about absurdity and the creative process. And with LinkedIn sponsoring this year’s event, there’s bound to be a surprise in the wings.

Come out and meet that person you’ll pinky swear never to talk about your time together ever again. Because that’s what creative conferences are all about.

This was a HUGE HIT the past two years and we can’t wait for you to start your HOW Design Live experience off right… by meeting up with old friends, finding some new ones, and having some geeky designer fun.



This is memorable. Everyone fills the exhibit hall and all the exhibitors have swag. It’s like a free shopping spree on Black Friday or Christmas Eve. Plus it is our Opening Reception so grab a drink, wander the booths and connect with your fellow creatives. (Remember to bring a lot of business cards).

This year, our Exhibit Hall will be better than ever. Expect more interactive fun, HOW collectibles, and premium swag—plus a whole lot more we can’t reveal just yet!



Come meet and mingle with fellow HOWies, Wednesday, May 3 from 6:30-7:30pm in the Exhibit Hall!

One of the best things about HOW Design Live is all of the connections you make. The people you meet here can often become your go-to resources for all things design. They share your desire to make amazing stuff, get better, and change the world. These are your industry peeps, your trusted network, and they are invaluable.

So let Hint Creative Director Stefan Mumaw help you find your next design posse at the Networking Happy Hour. Stefan has a unique way of getting complete strangers to think about the possibilities together, full of his usual creative bafoonery but guaranteed to put you in a conversation with cool folks carrying interesting skillsets. Come find out all that you could accomplish as one and have a great time doing it.



Every year the Stock Photo Expo gives attendees an opportunity to discover inspiring new sources of stock images from specialty suppliers to general stock photo houses. The Stock Photo Expo will only be available in the exhibit hall on Thursday, May 4.



The Type Expo gives attendees an opportunity to discover exciting new sources of Typography and Fonts. The Type Expo will be available in the exhibit hall on Tuesday, May 2 from 6:30-8:30pm and Wednesday, May 3 from 8-9am, 12-2pm and 6:30-7:30pm.



Check out the Job Board at LinkedIn’s booth #421! 



Update your professional image with a new headshot at LinkedIn’s booth #421.



Join our expert speakers for one-on-one 10-minute personal coaching sessions, and morning breakfast with other attendees to discuss various design topics. This is your chance to get career advice, talk through a sticky project, or ask for feedback on your portfolio. Look for more details as we get closer to the conference.

“There’s no dishonor in having a job. What is dishonorable is scaring away your creativity by demanding that it pay for your entire existence.” 
—Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear



Presented by Shutterstock, Pixels of Fury is a traveling competition that pits designers against one another in a high-speed challenge, cheered on by a live audience.  With the crowd watching, the pressure is on to create the most compelling work before the clock runs out.  Join us for a drink and cheer on the competitors as they battle it out to see who will take home the Furious Pixel trophy, and this year’s bragging rights!  Tickets are limited so reserve your spot now!

Want to compete? If you have what it takes, apply here by April 17th.       

Please note this is 21+ ONLY! Be sure to arrive on time to guarantee entry. 

This event takes place at the Revel Fulton Market located at 1215 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607.



Every year we have a morning “fun run” where you can join your fellow runners (or very fast walkers) on an early morning 5k run through the streets of whichever city we are in. It is a good opportunity to take in the sights of the city, get a little exercise, make some new friends and clear your mind for the day of inspiration ahead.



When creatives join together with a common goal, incredible things can happen. HOW Design Live 2017 will be the most innovative and inspiring design conference to date, and that excitement will be amplified by an opportunity to help a community in the Kaliro District of Uganda get access to safe water and education. Each year since 2014, Wheels4Water has led community engagement and cycling events to raise funds and awareness to fight the global water crisis in marginalized regions of the world. To date, our efforts have helped over 6,000 people get safe water and sanitation for life, and at the end of 2017, we’re going to greatly push that number. Wheels4Water will cycle across the United States to raise funding and awareness for safe water in Uganda: 10 days of riding to reach 10,000 people.

As the returning “Official Cause” of HOW Design Live, Wheels4Water will invite conference attendees to join our mission of making a life-changing impact in the lives of people in the Kaliro District of Uganda, using hands-on experiences and exclusive merchandise. Our goal? Raise enough support to help several hundred Ugandans get safe water and sanitation for life, and create the most memorable HOW conference to date.



This is where everyone lets it all hang out. Every year our closing party has a theme, and this year the theme is “Chicago Hues”. Many of our attendees dress in costumes that reflect the theme, we have music, drink and a wonderful time. After four days of cramming your heads with information, it’s time to let go.