If you work in UX (or a related field, like graphic design, coding, IA, illustrating, etc.), you probably know there are a million and a half conferences every year dedicated to your field. The options can be overwhelming. And even if you did know which to attend, things like time off, ticket prices, and travel costs can be hard to justify to yourself or your employer. (If you’re like me, you would attend all the conferences you could. Still, things like limited money and time off work get in the way of our conference #goals).
Despite these constraints, conferences are awesome, and you will be hard pressed to find a better UX conference than Big Design in Dallas, TX. The conference has thrived every September for the last 10 years. And in terms of budget, quality, and heart, dammit, you will not find a better conference. If you’re not on board yet, read the following Top 5 Reasons to Attend Big Design, where you will get a year’s worth of learning and fun in 2 or 3 too-short days.
5. Lifelong learning is necessary in UX (and related fields)
To say that ‘”technology is a rapidly changing field” is an understatement. As UXers, we’re constantly learning about how users react and adapt to these changes in technology, environment, and expectations. Though some best practices have barely changed in the last 50 years (if at all), we need still need to stay up to date in the most recent studies and trends. I always come away from Big Design either being able to see a familiar topic from a new perspective or with completely new information that changes the way I approach my work.
Besides, whatever your job is, you can’t do it all, all the time. Big Design is your chance revisit the topics you don’t have time in your average day-to-day responsibilities. Machine Learning? Accessibility? Security and Protection? Enterprise? Augmented Reality? Artificial Intelligence? Mobile and Responsive? You can maximize your time by learning about all these concepts in this info-packed event. You’ll also have a pretty decent chance to play with some new tools and toys.
No matter how long you’ve been practicing in the field or how recently you graduated from school, we always have room to grow. Not only will you learn from so many at Big Design, you’ll have the important opportunity to share that learning with your colleagues and friends wherever you work, thus continuing the circle of lifelong learning.
4. Dallas is the coolest city that’s not on your radar.
Music. Art. Tacos. BBQ. Craft beer. This city has it all. If you’re not from around the DFW area, you might associate it with ranchers, football, and horses. For starters, you wouldn’t be totally wrong. But there is so much more to Dallas than the average Texan stereotype. The city is bustling art and music, breweries, to festivals, to indie film theaters, to botanical gardens, to aquariums, museums…the list goes on.
The conference venue is really neat, too–they’re having it at Gilley’s Southside Ballroom. Typically a concert venue, Gilley’s has hosted recent bands such as MGMT, Modest Mouse, Blondie, and many others.
If you’re traveling from far away, we also suggest making the most out of your time here by spending an extra day out Fort Worth, y’all.
3. They pull some pretty big names.
Just because Big Design doesn’t price tickets like some of the bigger conferences, that doesn’t mean they don’t get big acts. If you went last year, you would have been lucky enough to see Alan Cooper AND Jared Spool within a 48 hour period. Previous years have boasted Phil Tippett, Brandon Oldenburg, Sara Wachter-Boettcher, Debra Gelman, Pamela Pavliscak, Amy Cueva, and hundreds of other amazing speakers with invaluable insight.
Don’t miss out on hearing some of the best minds in our field speak in person!
2. You will network with some of the best in the biz.
DFW is quickly becoming a hub for design and technology, and Big Design is the perfect place for you to meet inspiring, energetic, and passionate UXers from around the world.
You’ll get to mingle, compare notes, or share a cocktail with speakers and attendees alike. When you combine some of the best minds in the field (yours included!), all with different backgrounds, perspectives, and strengths, and even countries, you will be inspired to do great things. Between sessions you can also check out Industry Alley, their top-notch enterprise trade show. Meet exhiibtors from local companies like Verizon, AT&T, Capital One, Sabre, Projekt202, Vitamin T, and more. You will be empowered by shaking hands with all the lively, talented folks that make it out to the conference every year.
While you may have a ton of connections on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, nothing beats meeting and sharing a story with someone in person.
1.You get the most bang for your buck.
When you attend Big Design, you can make your dollar go a lot further than most conferences. As of April, you can still get Super Early Bird tickets for as low as $220. Tickets for other big-name conferences can run as high as $1,500 or more just to get in the building. Dallas also has very affordable lodging options as well, including a limited group rate at the walkable and super-chic Nylo Hotel. Visit the Locations page for more lodging options.
Not only is the conference reasonably priced for all that you will receive from it, but this conference is FUN. With attendees comprising of new faces and old friends alike, Big Design most fun your money can buy! If you still need some help getting funding from work, check out the Convince your Boss page on the site.
Yes, the conference does still have a price. So do the travel, lodging, meals, and bar tabs. But sometimes you have to invest in yourself because you are worth it. Big Design lets you sleep easy knowing you will see a return on this investment.
“I’m sold. What’s next?”
You’re only 3 steps away attending Big Design 2018:
- Buy your ticket. Super Early Bird, Group, and Student tickets are still available.
- Save the date for September 20-22, 2018.
- Book your travel and accommodations.
What else are you waiting for? Come on down to #BigD2018 and let the fun begin!