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3 reasons why you should attend a creative conference (yes, you.)

If you’re a “creative” go ahead and browse away. This post isn’t for you. This post is for the rest of us. The strategists and account people, the media buyers and the data analysts. If you’re one of us, I have a message for you. I think you should attend a creative conference. 

I know I know, you’re not a “creative.” Whatever. That doesn’t matter. We all need creativity in our jobs, but unfortunately, if you’re reading this, you were probably never taught how to access it on command, or how to be comfortable with the vulnerability required in championing a new idea. 

Attending a creative conference might not immediately award you with these attributes, but it will get you more comfortable with your own creativity and help you understand your creative co-workers a little better. 

Here are the 3 reasons I think YOU should attend a creative conference. 

Creativity is not exclusive to creative professionals

This shouldn’t have to be said any more, but here I am saying it. And as a strategist who walks a fine line between creative and media, I feel well-qualified to do so. I have to be creative every day. You probably do too, and just don’t realize it. A creative solution to dealing with a problem client can be just as innovative as groundbreaking art direction. A new way of dealing with employee disputes can require just as much clear thinking as an insightful brand manifesto. Spending a day or a week thinking about creativity will help you recognize the parts of your job that require creativity, and perhaps help you come up with more creative solutions next time you’re faced with a challenge. 

You’ll become more comfortable with the creative process

I recently attended the Made In the Middle conference in Kansas City, and one of the things that stood out to me after hearing so many descriptions of the creative process is that there’s more than one path to creativity. Everyone has different things that inspire them and different ways they like to work. The key is understanding what those things are for you, and then trying to accept what they are for someone else.  

Creatives tell great stories

Attend a conference on email marketing behaviors or social media trends, you’ll surely learn a lot, but you won’t top the entertainment value of a creative conference. Listening to creatives tell their humbling stories of career failures, moments of uncertainty and tales of triumph will leave you with an emotional mark. You’ll come to appreciate the vulnerability required to stand behind creative concepts, and leave inspired to live a more creatively driven life yourself. That feeling alone is generally worth the price of admission. 

If I’ve inspired you to take a leap to attend a creative conference, here’s a list of some great ones for you to consider:

Made in the Middle

Creative Mornings

Adobe 99u Conference

Gas Can