Conference Breakdown: CreativePro Week

CreativePro Week: Billed as the How-To Conference for Creative Pros

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All photos by Jeff Carlson, courtesy of CreativePro Week

 

This conference is for graphic designers, production specialists, art directors, marketing and communication managers, educators, and publishers who want to understand where the industry is going and work to be one of the people leading the way. 

 

This year the conference was in Seattle, just one light rail stop from my house, so I had to go at least one day. CreativePro Week is a bit like SXSW, where it's multiple conferences in one. 

 

Here's what CreativePro Week included:

The InDesign Conference: The Essential Event for InDesign Professionals.

I have my expert certificate in InDesign, so I hope to be there one day!

PsAi: The Photoshop + Illustrator Conference for Designers.

One day I'll go and learn how to stop letting the pen tool best me. 

PepCon: Bridging Print and Digital Publishing

This is a huge challenge. I bet there's a lot of crying at this one. 

Click: The Presentation Design Conference

All things PowerPoint. I was there for Click, but because there's so much overlap, I learned a lot about all kinds of things. 

 

As soon as I walked in, I was in design nerd heaven - people with a love for fonts and perfectly aligned text boxes. I was a geek set free.

 

Was there a CMYK/RGB joke? Yes.

Did I laugh at that joke? Yes.

Did I hate myself for laughing at that joke? A little.

Speakers:

Step one: I completely nerded out meeting my InDesign gurus, Anne-Marie Concepción and David Blatner.

 

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Their voices have been in my ears for literal hours on Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning) back when I was an RFP Response Writer ditching the hellscape of Microsoft Word to do my proposals in InDesign. By the time I was done with that job, I had it set up so that if the customer was in trucking, I could click a button and anywhere in the 100 pages that it said "bus" would change to "truck," and all the pictures of buses turned to trucks. (Conditional formatting!) 

 

They have taught me so much, so it was an honor to meet them. 

 

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The sessions I went to included Designing Drool-Worthy Presentations, Just Say No: Five Alternatives to Bullets, and Visualizing Data.

 

Since this was a design conference, signage was on point.

 

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I especially appreciated that they had tables designated with sectors, so you could meet people in your field. After eating with other people in instructional design, I went over to a freelancer table, but they were talking about long-distance running. I snuck over to another table also labeled for freelancers, and they were talking about restaurants. Ah ha! My people. 

Here were my main takeaways from Click:

  • Bullet points in presentations are so '80s
  • I should stop hating PowerPoint. They've upped their game. 
  • PowerPoint's morph tool is the best way to wow your audience.
  • We all still hate SmartArt.
  • It's ok to use the Design Ideas tool. No one has to know. 

 

I would have loved to stay for the whole week. If you can attend, I can almost guarantee that you'll come back with skills beyond the price of registration.

 

The next CreativePro Week will be June 1–5, 2020, in Austin, TX and registration is open now!

 

Topics: Events, Conference Tips