Skip to main content

Design Family Reunion: The Non-Conference Conference

In early January, I received a call from my friend, the talented Atlanta copywriter Matt Porter.

“Cathi, I have an idea. I want to have a design conference, where attendees can actually learn and network in an environment that is rejuvenating. Opposed to  the usual that’s hosted in a cold, sleepy auditorium where you’re  delivered mind-exploding information.” He then followed up with, “You in?”

Without any contemplation or hesitation I was quick to respond, “Um, Sure. Yes! 100%!”

Months of planning, designing and creative development followed, culminating in a few inspiring days at Asilomar State Park on the Monterey Peninsula –  one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended

The (non)conference conference took place over Labor Day weekend. Dubbed the Design Family Reunion, it brought together designers, artists and advertising professionals between the ages of 40-60 for a weekend of rubbing elbows, bumping kayaks, creative workshops, and raising a glass of California’s finest to the idea of reconnecting with old professional acquaintances and making new ones.

With a list of attendees that included notables of industry rock star status, (Michael Osborne, Felix Sockwell, Kevin McConkey, Anne Willoughby, Patrick Coyne to name a few), BBR was honored to be asked to design and illustrate the conference materials. This included the (non)conference  brand and collateral, website and social media, as well as various specialty items. We tasked our Senior Art Director, Denise Gallagher, with this assignment, which fit extremely well with her illustrative style.

Typically after I attend a conference I feel like my brain hurts from information overload, information that may or may not be useful. Not after Design Reunion. I left beautiful California feeling rejuvenated, impassioned and best of all, I left with ties to 65 new and old acquaintances that I can now contact for business or better yet, just to say, “hello.”