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

Save the Date:
May 7-10, 2019

2018 Special Events & Opportunities

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 Boston. 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!


Sponsored by LinkedIn. 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. This isn’t 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. 

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.


Johnny Cupcakes

Boston native and T-shirt entrepreneur extraordinaire Johnny Cupcakes is BACK by popular demand and will be making a special appearance!

With Boston being the hometown of Johnny Cupcakes, Johnny himself will be bringing 3 special treats to #HOWLive: a pop-up shop installation on the exhibit floor (Booth #119); a Head Baker’s Special Deal for all attendees, exhibitors, and speakers at Johnny Cupcakes’ flagship, located across the street from the Hynes (279 Newbury St.); and an all-vinyl DJ set — from his personal record collection — at the closing party on Wednesday, May 2 from 9 to 11pm.


When: Sunday, April 29, 5-6:30pm. Where: Room 203.

Open to Big Ticket Plus attendees only. 


When: Monday, April 30, 8am-5:30pm. Where: Outside of Exhibit Hall A.

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. 


When: Monday, April 30, 6:30-8:30pm. Where: Exhibit Hall.

Sponsored by MOO & fairlife. Be there to get the first look-see at all the booths filled with products and services that elevate your designs – oh and the swag is always great too!

The Opening Reception is a great opportunity to 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! 


Where: Exhibit Hall.

Visit our first-ever collaborative HOW Journaling Wall! Share your reactions to what you’ve seen and heard with words and drawing. Make your mark and see what your peers have to say in this real-time, live reflection of the event. Facilitated by local design professional Elissa Von Letkemann.


Where: Exhibit Hall, Booth 219.

Sponsored by LinkedIn. Looking for a career change, a client or talent to join your firm? Then the LinkedIn Job Board is the place for you. Everyone needs a professional headshot to put on their LinkedIn page, blog or resume. Here is an opportunity for you to polish your image.


When: Tuesday, May 1, 9am-6pm. Where: Exhibit Hall.

Swing by the B&H Photo + Wacom Pop-Up Illustration Lounge, grab a seat and show off your rad drawing skills on one of the provided Wacom Paper Tablets by illustrating “HOWie’s Next Adventure.”(Note: Illustration must include HOWie. HOWie is HOW Design Live’s unofficial mascot – if you’re a ‘newbie.’)

While this isn’t a competition, you just might win your own Wacom Paper Tablet by sharing and tagging your favorite HOWie rendition with #YouGotoBH to Instagram and the HOW Design Live 2018 app!


When: Tuesday, May 1, Noon-2pm. Where: Within the Pop-Up Illustration Lounge.

Enjoy your lunch break by teaming up with at least 2 new friends and borrowing a Fujifilm Instax camera to participate in the FIRST EVER Instant Photo Scavenger Hunt. Cameras, a stack of film, and scavenger hunt lists will be available on a first come, first serve basis between noon & 2pm. The winning collection of images will earn each member of your team your own Fujifilm Instax camera!


When: Tuesday, May 1, 6:30-7:30pm. Where: Exhibit Hall.

Sponsored by Workfront. 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.


When: Tuesday, May 1, 8-8:50am & 12:30-1:20pm. Where: Exhibit Hall B.

Join our expert speakers for one-on-one, 10-minute personal coaching sessions, and 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. Sign up now!


When: Wednesday, May 2, 7:15-8am and Thursday, May 3, 7:15-8am. Where: Room 207.

The Mindfulness Activity is a time for personal development, reflection, relaxation and recharging. Participants with different levels of experience with meditation and mindfulness are welcome and will find the activity accessible. It offers a chance to engage deeply with quieting the mind through noting practices including gentle mindful movement, emphasizing breath and body awareness, and sitting/standing/walking mindfulness of breathing.


When: Wednesday, May 2, 8-9am. Where: Exhibit Hall B.

Attendance is first-come, first-served. Look for more details as we get closer to the conference.


When: Wednesday, May 2, 9-11pm. Where: Auditorium.

This is where everyone lets it all hang out. Every year our closing party has a theme, and many of our attendees dress in costumes that reflect the theme. This year’s theme is “Boston T-Party” — attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite T-shirt! We have music, drink and a wonderful time. After days of cramming your heads with information, it’s time to let go. Featuring an all-vinyl DJ set from Johnny Cupcakes’ personal record collection.

“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


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