Why you should apply to speak or facilitate at a design conference

We started our search for new speakers and facilitators for our next edition, taking place in October 2023. If you are a great speaker or facilitator (or if you just want to give it a shot) then our call for speakers might be for you!

Dec 29, 2022

Design conferences can be a great opportunity for designers to share their work and ideas with a larger audience, as well as learn from and connect with other professionals in the field.

It can be a thrilling experience, and for some people –especially introverts– it can be quite challenging. However, if you really have a topic or idea that is close to your heart, it should not be kept to yourself! Sharing with the community can open doors for you that you had never imagined.

Here are just a few of the benefits of speaking at a design conference:

  • Build your professional network: Speaking at a design conference gives you the chance to meet and connect with other designers and industry professionals, both in person and online. These connections can be valuable for future collaboration, mentorship, or simply staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in your field.

  • Share your expertise: Design conferences are a platform for sharing knowledge and expertise with others in the industry. By speaking at a conference, you have the opportunity to share your unique perspective and experiences with a wider audience, and to contribute to the ongoing conversation about design.

  • Enhance your personal brand: Speaking at a design conference is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, and to build your personal brand as an expert in your area of expertise. This can be especially valuable if you are looking to transition into a new role or to take your career to the next level.

  • Learn from others: Attending a design conference as a speaker can be just as valuable as attending as an attendee. By engaging with other speakers and attendees, you can learn about new techniques, approaches, and technologies that can help you to grow and improve as a designer.

  • Promote your work: Speaking at a design conference is a great opportunity to showcase your work and ideas to a wider audience. This can be especially valuable if you are an independent designer, as it can help you to reach a larger audience and to potentially attract new clients or opportunities.

How to find design conferences looking for speakers / facilitators?

If you are interested in speaking at a design conference, here are some tips for finding open calls for speakers online:

  1. Search for design conferences in your area of expertise: One of the easiest ways to find open calls for speakers is to search for design conferences in your area of expertise. For example, if you are a user experience designer, you may want to search for conferences focused on UX design.

  2. Follow design conference organizers and industry groups on social media: Many design conferences announce their open calls for speakers on social media, so it can be helpful to follow conference organizers and industry groups on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also use hashtags like #designconference and #callforspeakers to find relevant opportunities.

  3. Check the websites of design conferences: Many design conferences will post their open calls for speakers on their websites, often in a dedicated section or page. It can be helpful to bookmark the websites of conferences you are interested in and to check back regularly for updates.

  4. Join online communities and forums: There are many online communities and forums where designers can connect and share information about conference opportunities. For example, you may be able to find open calls for speakers on forums like Designer News or Reddit, or through LinkedIn groups focused on your area of expertise.

  5. Ask your network: Finally, don't be afraid to ask your professional network for recommendations or for help finding open calls for speakers. Colleagues, mentors, and industry peers may have valuable insights or connections that can help you find opportunities to speak at a design conference.

But, what if you've never done it before?

A lot of design conferences (including us!) take first time speakers or facilitators gladly. We believe everyone deserves an opportunity, so we've partnered with special coaches to help you build your presentation, review your style and ideas, and make a bigger impact.

Another good idea is to start smaller: try a design meetup first. There are hundreds of design meetups around the world, and they are always happy to get new speakers. Usually the entry level is a bit lower than in conferences, the crowds are much smaller and the atmosphere is more relaxed. Also, most of them aren't recorded.

Finally, you can read or take courses on public speaking that will help you make great progress.

Here is a list of books and courses that may be helpful for improving your public speaking skills:



Do you want to speak / facilitate at Hatch Conference?

It might be your lucky day: we have an open call for speakers until February 15th! That means anyone can submit, for free, and it will be reviewed by our team later that month.

Our conference only has about 20 slots to fill between speakers and facilitators, and some of them are already reserved. However, we are very interested in receiving interesting proposals, and will give each real proposal its needed consideration.

You can find our call for speakers page here with more information. We look forward to your submissions!

Looking for a cool ux design conference in Berlin?

Hatch Conference is an invite-only events for senior designers and above happening October 5th and 6th. Join in-person or online, applying for an invitation.