Special Events

We know you come to HOW Design Live to fill up those inspiration reserves, network, and grow your skillset—but who says you can’t have fun at the same time? Not us, my friend. That’s why, over the next few months, we’ll be rolling out all kinds of big news about the exhibits, activities and special extras that make HOW so much fun to attend.

That means new activities that are going to happen outside the walls of the venue so you get the chance to really connect with the incredible city of Chicago. We won’t just be visiting a city this year; our goal is to engage with it.

The best way to stay up-to-date is to make sure you’re signed up for the conference newsletter and to keep opening those emails. We’ll be spilling more details soon! For now, here is a preview of some of the annual events that are back by popular demand!


Where: Meet in the Hyatt lobby

Wednesday & Thursday 7:30-8:30am 

Get to know other HOW walkers by joining HOW Ambassadors Cami Travis Groves and Tom Tumbusch for these morning walks. 


Where: Exhibit Hall

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Julia Reich will be capturing attendee's thoughts by offering 3 prompts about HOW Design will create tomorrow, HOW Design can make a difference and HOW Design can be sustainable. She will then create - in real time - a visual of their thoughts by using words, drawings, shapes and symbols. This will provide an incredible visual summary of the HOW attendees to reflect on in the moment, and remember in the future.

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Bio: Along with graphic design and brand strategy consulting, Julia Reich of Stone Soup Creative is a graphic recorder. When a company, school or organization has a strategy meeting or conference, she is at the front of the room making a giant, live drawing of the group's conversation or presentation. Her goal is to capture the content of what is being said with words, drawings, arrows, shapes and symbols. She finds patterns and themes and makes connections. This helps the people in the room feel listened to. There is also a visual summary of the content for attendees to reflect on in the moment, and remember in the future.


Where: Exhibit Hall

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This is a “can’t miss” opportunity to join award winning NYC based artist, graphic designer, muralist Jason Naylor at his uniquely created mural at HOW Design Live 2019! You’ll have the opportunity to design, style And create your own  custom selfie and Photo shoots to share on social media. #HOWDOYOUDREAM



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Bio: NYC based artist, graphic designer, muralist, creative director. Mission is to spread love, positivity, and kindness across the globe.

Electric color palette supports themes of individuality, self-confidence, empowerment.

Typography, illustrations, products, and large scale murals.Digital, 3D & traditional media.


Tuesday, May 7 from 12:45pm-1:15pm

HOW Live is meant to be experienced together, so come find your conference posse at HOW Connection, led by the sometimes-embarrassing but always-entertaining Stefan Mumaw. He’ll kick off this year’s conference with his usual fun, creative bustle designed to get you moving, networking, and talking up your fellow HOWies. If you’re looking for a hint around this year’s creative focus, think of all the different ways you can arrange seven alpha-numeric characters…and the people your creation could describe. Come start your conference the right way and find your future squad at the same time at HOW Connection!



Tuesday, May 7 ~ 6:00pm-8:00pm & Wednesday, May 8 ~ 8:00am-9:00am, 12:00pm-2:00pm, 6:00pm-7:30pm in the Exhibit Hall

Every year the Stock Photo Expo gives attendees an opportunity to discover inspiring new sources of stock images from specialty suppliers to general stock photo houses.

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Tuesday, May 7 from 6:00-8:00pm in the Exhibit Hall

Get the first look at premium products and services designed to elevate your work. This a great opportunity to grab a drink, connect with your fellow creatives (bring lots of business cards!), and discuss the latest industry trends. The swag is always great, too! 

This year, our Exhibit Hall will be better than ever. Expect more interactive fun, HOW collectibles, and premium giveaways—plus a whole lot more we can’t reveal just yet!



Where: Exhibit Hall

Join ImageThink at HOW Design Live, refresh your memory, get inspired and get the big picture of design. We will be elevating the key ideas and highlights from the conference through visual storytelling.

 Watch out for ImageThink’s CEO, Nora Herting’s interactive workshop on ‘Visual Thinking’ – Your Secret SuperPower for working with clients.

Bio - Nora Herting

Nora is a CEO and co-founder of ImageThink. Recognized for her creativity and acumen in business, and as an exemplar firm in graphic recording,  ImageThink has been featured in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fox Business and INC. Her first book- Draw Your Big Ideas is published by Chronicle.

Bio - Raheem Nelson 

A visual artist with a penchant for creative thinking, Raheem Nelson graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in Cartooning. Raheem’s graphic faciliation skills elevates alignment, collaboration and clarity for ImageThink clients.



Presented by Shutterstock

Join us for the wildest design battle in town. 

Pixels of Fury is a live design battle where 6 contestants have just 20 minutes to complete a design challenge. So come by for a drink, some tasty snacks—and to cheer on the designers before the clock runs out. Want to be there? Tickets are limited so to get in you need to RSVP (And be over 21.) Want to compete? Nominate yourself (or someone else) for the ultimate live design battle.



Where: Exhibit Hall

Looking for a career change, a client or talent to join your firm? Then the Job Board is the place for you. Sponsored by Artisan Talent 



Wednesday, May 8 from 6:15-7:45pm in the Exhibit Hall.

One of the best things about HOW Design Live is all of the connections you make. The people you meet here can often become your go-to resources for all things design. They share your desire to make amazing stuff, get better, and change the world. These are your industry peeps, your trusted network, and they are invaluable.

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Join our expert speakers for one-on-one, 10-minute personal coaching sessions, and to discuss various design topics. This is your chance to get career advice, talk through a sticky project, or ask for feedback on your portfolio. Sign up here!



Join a mix of speakers and fellow attendees to discuss what's happening in your industry. You'll leave with insight, tips, new ideas, and some great new contacts. Attendance is first-come, first-served - look for more details as we get closer to the conference.



When: Thursday, May 9 from 8:30pm - 10:30pm in the Lakeside Ballroom

HOW We Party! HOW gets down on a Thursday …don’t miss our closing party! Join us for a fun night of drinks with your fellow design lovers. Dress code: SILVER (door prizes and costume prizes will be awarded throughout the night!).

Register now for the opportunity to connect with thousands of attendees and vendors

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