I throw a lot of events, but this year, between de LaB, GOOD Ideas for Cities and my own wedding, I feel like I’ve entered into some secret superuser level of Event Planning Call of Duty. Over at Wired Design this month, I had the opportunity to write about two tech events that are truly inspiring to me as I aspire to bring people together: CreativeMornings, the breakfast lecture series founded by Tina Roth Eisenberg (which I spoke at in 2010), and XOXO, a new arts and tech conference in Portland organized by two Andys, Baio and McMillan.
What I loved about writing about both of these events is that they’re so different even as they’re united in their common goals. CreativeMornings relies on a mostly volunteer network to curate, produce and host monthly morning talks by creatives in 30 cities worldwide, then puts the videos online to share them with an even wider audience. XOXO raised over $175,000 using Kickstarter for one-time event in Portland, but one that will go far beyond the traditional conference format with workshops, vendors and a fringe festival that brings the city inside the venue.
Both of these events are not only catering to the local design and technology industries, they’re both using design and technology in such smart, groundbreaking ways. And they both prove that no matter how much of event planning feels virtual—posting tweets, uploading videos, making online pledges—it’s still all about creating community in real life.