HOW Design Live

Woodruff Employees Find Inspiration at HOW Design Conference

On May 2, thousands of creative professionals descended upon the Hyatt Regency in the heart of Chicago’s Loop for “HOW Design Live,” a five-day conference sponsored by such giants as Adobe, LinkedIn and Nielsen and featuring 13 keynote speakers and more than 80 breakaway sessions taught by some of the best minds in the industry.

Among the attendees this year were two of Woodruff’s brightest minds: Director of Production, Jori Rose, and Associate Creative Director Scott Shade. We caught up with Jori and Scott to ask what they took away from the event.

Collage of photos from HOW Conference

Informational, Inspirational

The conference was jam-packed with speakers and classes. Topics ranged from the importance of having a human-centered culture to writing content, and from structural packaging to the latest software innovations as organizers aimed to “stimulate your thinking, inspire you to do great work and, perhaps, change your perspective on how you see the world.”

Jori noted that the conference, and keynote speaker and COLLINS CCO Brian Collins in particular, engendered a renewed drive to think outside of the box throughout the entire life of a project. She returned reinvigorated and eager to share what she learned with others in the agency.

Scott felt similarly, saying he found inspiration in ways he didn’t expect. Random side notes he took throughout the conference turned into talking points with his kids, a keynote from renowned TED speaker Amy Cuddy about body language and confidently presenting oneself drove introspection, a seemingly routine breakout on creative briefs sparked a new perspective, and the over-the-top showing by interaction designer Kelli Anderson has already influenced subsequent agency projects.

Beyond the Expected

The event wasn’t all about admiring and learning from what others have accomplished. For Jori and Scott, it was validating.

“We, as an agency, do things right, we do things well,” Scott noted.

But there’s always more we can be doing to push the envelope for our clients to deliver the unexpected. As Jori pointed out, “ideas don’t always have to be new to be impactful; a huge part of our job is simply knowing what’s possible.”