If you’re tired of sitting in convention center ballrooms listening to one too many panels, looking at another boring slide presentation, perhaps it’s time to mix it up a bit and hit a creative happening. More gathering than conference, these events will inspire you to think and interact with brilliant minds outside of your silo and give you an opportunity to use your hands for something other than typing.

ccCredit: Katherine Levin Sheehan

Create + Cultivate
July 27 / Portland, OR + Brooklyn, NY

The team over at (No Subject) produces this hands-on day that begins with morning mimosas, is filled with creative workshops, DIY projects and inspirational presentations, and closes with attendees debriefing and bonding at a dinner party. C+C is on a cross country tour that kicked off in L.A. earlier this year, lands in Portland on July 27 and will make its way to Brooklyn in late August.


Weapons of Mass Creation Festival
August 16-18 / Cleveland, OH

Art, design, and music hit the Midwest in a major way during WMC. What started as a grassroots Cleveland movement is now a full-blown festival featuring a roster of 20 speakers,  20 designers and a host of bands. With an experience designed to inspire and enable the creative mind, WMC attendees are the type to “defy the hand they’re dealt and make stuff happen.”


September 19-22 / Portland, OR

Independent creatives and geeks descend upon Portland for two days to talk the Internet and tools that empower their work. This year’s lineup includes Chris Anderson of Wired and 3D Robotics and Christina Xu of Breadpig. Talks aside, XOXO also includes a full four-day festival schedule of social events, film screenings, indie music concerts and gaming sessions.

About our contributor // Trusting the path of her curiosity, Johnica Reed has explored six continents, over fifty countries and countless cities. When she’s not traveling, you can find her in Brooklyn at a co-working spot developing content strategy and influencer campaigns for consumer brands and tech startups. Follow her on Twitter @johnica.