Conferences aren’t just for stuffy-suited corporate types. We creatives have our own conventions and gatherings. These are great opportunities to make new friends and professional contacts, learn new skills and discover new passions. Here’s a sampling of some of the arts and makers conferences out there.

Becoming Boss

At Roc Girl Gang, they love encouraging women wherever they are on their creative journey and believe it’s important to come together and connect. Their quarterly series, “Becoming Boss” amplifies the voices of women who have successfully turned their passions into full-time businesses. But the focus is on BECOMING, so you will hear about how they got started, things they struggled with and how they overcame their obstacles. Check out the RocGirlGang Facebook page for more information on the next Becoming Boss.


Craftcation: Business & Makers Conference, is an annual four-day conference held by Dear Handmade Life in the artsy seaside town of Ventura in Southern California. The conference features industry experts leading attendees in small-business smarts and creative craft workshops, as well as social gatherings. The next Craftcation Conference is April 3-7, 2019.

South by Southwest (SXSW)

Perhaps one of the best-known creative conferences, South by Southwest started in 1987, and became famous in the indy music scene in Austin, Texas, for its focus on the future. Today, the SXSW Conference features over a week of speakers, workshops, exhibition sessions, mentor sessions and more – not to mention those famous parties and concerts. It remains a tool for artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers to meet, learn and share ideas. The 2019 conference will take place March 8-17. Check the website for details.

Midwest Craft Con

Midwest Craft Con is a creative business conference for mid-career makers and creative business owners. Next con to come in 2020!

Upstate Social Sessions

Upstate Social Sessions was founded in 2015 to inspire and educate the community on the value of social media in our personal and professional lives. This day-long event features presentations, panels and breakout sessions with national and local professionals who have proven social prowess in their field. It’s the largest conference in downtown Rochester, NY, covering social media.


Join thousands of professionals for North America’s largest and longest-running creative industries trade event, Jan. 17-21, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Creative Founders Conference

This fall, the Society For Creative Founders brought together 27 women who are artists, makers and designers to help bring their businesses to the next level. This four-day, all-inclusive workshop sold out this year, but to learn about next year’s conference go to the website to sign up for updates.

The Makers Summit

The Makers Summit is a two-day opportunity to confront big picture and day-to-day challenges facing independent creatives. Learn collaboratively through panel discussions, hands-on workshops, one-on-one sessions, and keynote speeches from industry experts.


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