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The Ultimate Guide to Conferences for Creatives in 2017

Looking to learn, grow and network with other creatives? Check out these events for creative entrepreneurs, bloggers, designers, crafters & artists. 

I’ve talked about how meeting other creatives face-to-face at conferences, craft shows and other events has been absolutely crucial for growing my biz over the years.

While there are plenty of conference roundups out there, I couldn’t find one that comprehensively listed the types of creative conferences that I’d like to attend or speak at. 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 is full of INCREDIBLY creative people. I also included a lot of Maker Faires here. I’ve been to a few, including the flagship event 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 most traditional business and digital marketing industry events for this roundup, but I included a few bigger conferences that are known for kickass 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!

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:

This list is being continually updated. As 2018 dates are announced, I will remove listings from the 2017 section and add them to the 2018 section near the bottom of this page.

Creative Conferences 2017

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

Creative Conferences 2018

January 2018

February 2018

  • Art & Soul Retreat // February 11-18, 2018 // Portland, Oregon // mixed media artists
  • Midwest Craft Con // February 16-18, 2018 // Columbus, Ohio // makers and creative business owners
  • Southern Influence Summit // February 17, 2018 // Charlotte, North Carolina // female entrepreneurs
  • Thrive Conference // February 23-25, 2018 // Austin, Texas // creative entrepreneurs
  • Create + Cultivate // February 24, 2018 // Los Angeles, California // female creative entrepreneurs
  • Alt Summit // February 26-28, 2018 // Palm Springs, California // creative entrepreneurs
  • Social Media Marketing World // February 28-March 2, 2018 // San Diego, California // social media marketers and creators

March 2018

April 2018

June 2018

July 2018

August 2018

  • Camp Climb // August 24-26, 2018 // New Liberty, Iowa // creatives

October 2018

  • Art & Soul Retreat // October 1-6, 2018 // Virginia Beach, Virginia // mixed media artists

Best creative conferences?

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

What did I miss?

I’ll continue to update this list as more creativity conferences in 2017-2018 are announced, so please contact me if you know of a conference that should be here!

If you found this list helpful, please share it on Pinterest or Facebook, bookmark it, or link to it!

The Ultimate Guide to Conferences for Creatives, via MissMalaprop.com

Photo credits: VenturePOP Conference

About the Author Mallory Whitfield

Mallory Whitfield has been making things and performing for as long as she can remember. She started blogging at MissMalaprop.com in 2006, and currently hosts the Badass Creatives podcast. Throughout her journey as a creative entrepreneur, Mallory has worn many hats, including blogger, visual artist, upcycled clothing creator, performance artist, jewelry designer, craft show vendor, creative strategist, speaker, teacher and consultant to other small business owners.
She worked as Content Analyst at FSC Interactive, a leading digital marketing agency, prior to taking on her current role as Director of Marketing at LookFar, a New Orleans-based startup studio which builds digital products and visionary companies.

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Do you believe that art, creativity, innovation, and kindness can change the world? If you answered “Heck yeah!” then this is the podcast for you.

Badass Creatives is hosted by Mallory Whitfield and features marketing and business advice for creatives, as well as interviews with a diverse range of handmade artists, performers, makers, and creative entrepreneurs.

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