The Ultimate Guide to Conferences for Creatives

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Meeting other creatives face-to-face at conferences, workshops and events has been absolutely crucial for growing my business over the years. I remember going to one of my first creative conferences in 2007 in Pittsburgh. It was called Craft Congress, and it was a gathering of craft show organizers from across the country. I met people there that I still keep in touch with to this day. (The photo above of me in costume is from a Golden Girls themed party at Craftcation: Business & Makers Conference, one of my favorite conferences I've attended and spoken at!)

When I first started this directory of creative conferences back in 2016, I was looking for other conferences and events to check out. I found plenty of roundups for business and marketing conferences, but I couldn’t find one that comprehensively listed the types of creative conferences that I was looking for at the time. So I decided to create one!

What I mean by “creative conference”

I’m taking a pretty broad approach to what it means to be a “creative conference,” which is why I’m including events like Dragoncon, which I attended for many years (I even spoke at their Electronic Frontiers Forums!) and which is full of INCREDIBLY creative people. I also included a lot of Mini Maker Faires here. I’ve been to a few, including the flagship Maker Faire near San Francisco, and they are awesome events for creatives to meet each other, learn and get inspired. Both of these events are a meeting of like-minded folks and they usually offer some type of workshop or educational panel.

I steered clear of many traditional business and digital marketing industry events for this roundup, but I included a few bigger conferences that are known for incredible speakers and amazing content. 

(Here’s a great directory of business and marketing conferences if you’re interested. And if you’re into zines and small press publishing, check out this list of zine events.)

Most events listed here are geared towards individual creative entrepreneurs, artists, bloggers, designers, infopreneurs and crafters. I’ve included the primary target audience for each conference below.

The majority of these events are based in the United States, but if you live anywhere in the world and know of a creative entrepreneur conference that should be on this list, please contact me and let me know!

This list is being continually updated. As 2020 dates are announced, I will remove listings from the 2019 section and add them to the bottom of this page.

Creative Conferences 2019

June 2019

July 2019

August 2019

September 2019

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

Creative Conferences 2020

January 2020

  • RISE Weekend // January 9-11, 2020 // Fort Myers, Florida // creative women

  • In/Visible Talks // January 16, 2020 // San Francisco, California // designers and creatives

  • Creativation // January 16-20, 2020 // Phoenix, Arizona // creative industry professionals

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020

August 2020

  • RISE Weekend // August 6-8, 2020 // London, United Kingdom // creative women

November 2020

Best creative conferences?

Want to know more about my favorite creative conferences, including the ones I’ve attended and/or spoken at? Listen to Episode 013 of my podcast, Badass Creatives:

Drop me a note and let me know which conferences for creatives you’ve personally attended or hope to attend. In your opinion, which creative conferences are the best?

I’ll continue to update this list as more creativity conferences are announced, so please contact me if you know of a conference that should be here!