We learned a great many things at the ever-exuberant HOW Design Conference, and though it will be a challenge to narrow them down to a simple five, we'll do our best. It seemed the common denominator of the things we learned at HOW was the enthusiastic spirit of those who attended the conference. So, without further ado ... 1. WE LEARNED THAT PEOPLE LIKE FREE STUFF ... A LOT
On the Friday night of the HOW Conference, we experienced something that can only be described as a Swag Attack. Countless attendees descended on the exhibit hall to take whatever freebies they could get. Hundreds of t-shirts, posters, and stressballs were seized from exhibiting booths during the chaotic raid. Luckily, no one was injured during the stampede and swag-swiping, not even the daring attendees who scaled the walls of our booth to get to the t-shirts on the top shelves.
Over the course of the conference, our booth had given away 800 t-shirts, 1,000 pins, 400 notebooks, 300 iPhone skins and 400 totebags to thankful "HOWies." And we didn't stop there ... we also teamed up with The Creative Group and held a contest that awarded one attendee a Grand Prize of 250 Bigstock Credits and a Wacom Intuous 5 design tablet. What can we say? We're givers.
2. WE LEARNED THAT PEOPLE LIKE DEBBIE MILLMAN AS MUCH AS WE DO
We admit it. We're big fans of designer Debbie Millman. And judging from the long line that formed at our book signing, we're apparently not alone. For two straight hours, Ms. Millman spoke with attendees and signed hundreds of sketchbooks. The sketchbooks were designed by Millman exclusively for Bigstock, using 115 images from our collection. Both Millman and the sketchbook were big hits at the Bigstock booth.
3. WE LEARNED THAT PEOPLE LIKE SWEAR WORDS SOMETIMES
One of the most effective public speakers at the HOW Conference was Allen Murabayashi. Mr. Murabayashi is the Chairman and Co-Founder of PhotoShelter, "the worldwide leader in photography portfolio websites, photo sales, marketing, and archiving tools for photographers." During his HOW presentation for The Creative Freelancers Conference, titled Building Your Prospect List, Mr. Murabayashi surprisingly dropped the F-bomb more than once, to guffaws of laughter from the audience. According to Twitter-chatter and ear-witnesses there that day, the more he used the "F" word, the more the enthusiasm grew. In fairness, he introduced the panel by saying it was going to be "Rated PG-13," so anyone that was offended should probably have effing known better. (Whoops.)
5. WE LEARNED THAT PEOPLE HAVE ALL SORTS OF WAYS OF RELIEVING SORE FEET
A graphic designer who visited our booth during the conference shared an interesting way of relieving her aching feet, learned after years of attending tradeshows.
"When I get back to my hotel room," she began, "I take my shoes off." Pretty standard stuff, we thought.
"Then, one foot at a time," she continued in a whisper, "I soak my feet in the toilet." Not so standard anymore, we thought.
"And then I flush the toilet with my foot still in the water." She went on to explain that the swirling, rushing water creates a quick jolt of hydrotherapy. The result: relaxed, rejuvenated feet. Who knew?
A few of us said we'd try it that night once we got back to our respective rooms, but none of us did. Or ... did we???
All in all, the HOW Design Conference was an epic blast. Long hours. Little sleep. Lots of fun. It was great getting to meet so many Bigstock customers in person, and to meet some new ones too. Thank you for everything.