I thought i will discuss my this years Festival Attending plan with you. I am sure many of you are attending some Design Festivals..do write your ideas and views. But then i also think why is it important to attend Design Festivals. I like to attend them for some reasons that i meet peers..and younger people who are doing things differently..some confirm that what i am doing is right way…i get to see new work and new approaches. Sometimes they are very inspiring and motivating.

There has been a virtual explosion of Design events in India and world wide. There is enough to pick and chose and attend. Most charge a fee to attend and then there is travel and stay costs. SO it is expensive, but i suggest do chose at least two events to attend every year that keep u in know of things. If you can you must attend one event abroad every year. This is definitely more expensive, but it opens your eyes further. Do try and mix the design event attendance with travel around the place a bit..so you don’t get stuck into the hotel or venuee..preferably 2 days in some other hotel..after the event is a good idea. I generally meet people during the conference and get tips on what to do further and use time to see design offices..meet people, visit museums. If budgets are a issue..definitely chose the local events and those closest to your town..workout stay with some one..friend or family..so its not that expensive.

I am going to start the year with attending “Design Indaba” at cape town in South Africa..it is a three day, highly curated event by Ravi Naidoo (check the website). It comes recommended as one of the top events to attend and get inspired. It is an expensive event…so perhaps a good idea to save up for this one. You will meet your global who is who here in terms of Design. The next that I am planning to attend would be Cannes advertising Festival in South of France. I was a part of the First Design lions jury in 2008, hence this is special for me. But otherwise very highly recommended for Designers who work on Strategy, Communication, Advertising, Films and Digital. Super dose of creativity..worthwhile to carry you clients there for a good time and also a lot of learning. This is again expensive..but definitely worth it. You could also meet who ‘s who of Indian advertising Industry here. best place to pitch ideas and make connections for Jobs. But beware..most people are always drunk here and they may not remember you when u get back. Best to sit and listen and watch films. Another one that i was planning to attend was belgrade Design Week in June. I heard so much about this one in last one year. This is almost like World Economic Forum of Design, network, Parties and conferences…i have just been invited to this one as a speaker ..so i guess i will definitely be there. Read about it online. Very european and you also connect with east european designers…very high on learning and enjoyment (fun) index..(let me know if anyone is going) Then I would visit Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. This is different. This is how institutions should plan there graduation weeks. It started with Einhoven Design academy graduation show..and is now spread all over the town. A must see for Industrial Designers and furniture designers…a lot to see and too much to see….also must see for Craft and handicraft designers..and all trend watchers..design researchers..

On the Indian events front i want to repeat the “Typography Day” this year. Lasy year it was in Mumbai at IDC..this year it is Gauhati in Assam…again a good mix of papers and presentations and generally a good addition to knowledge. I would also attend Kyoorius if it is in Goa this year, i missed it last year. But have attended all earlier ones. Again a great atmosphere, super networking with younger designers- though more and more are advertising professionals now..and some great speakers. overall it has a mix bag of speakers, though i would want the event to be curated well enough, it is a must attend for indian designers. USID is perhaps the most understated of all Indian Design events, but perhaps the best one that i have attended in India in terms of content. This is a very unhyped but a brilliant event organized by Raman Saxena in Bangalore/Hyderabad. I feel Industrial designers and digital guys should check this out. I will like to attend this one definitely. I have heard good things about Unbox..but didn’t have enough info to form an opinion..heard a lot about London Design FEstival…bur not anything that complells me to go. So thats my list..do tell me if you are attending any of these..may be we can meet up..also write about the ones that you do attend.. My view on most Indian events is that they are not curated well enough. Most are rag tags to just keep going..Also Events are becoming source of revenue for organizers (i don’t hunk there is anything wrong in that)…but you do see a lot of shortcuts happening.

There are many Design School events too… recently i have attended a few events organized by MBA colleges, they get business guys to campus to speak to students and do this in conference format..i am told almost all Management Schools do this. I see a lot of value in Designers attending these..perhaps more than attending Design events. You get to hear middle/top management and their views from unknown companies..and lots of SME’s. I suggest get in touch with a MBA school close to you and check out the event they are organizing and get in there. By the way..i am not organizing any of the events that i have written about. Do write about the events that you attend..