Reasons to be Creative 2017

10 September 2017

Reasons to be Creative 2017

Its been quite a while since I've written about my experiences at Reasons to be Creative. I’m going to resist the usual anecdotes of a design conference blog and instead, I'll decribe running the Elevator Pitches, a couple of things that happened and some personal takeaways from my experience working at Reasons to be Creative, Brighton 2017.



Often a conference is as much about what you give as what you get. I had an opportunity to give a younger designer the sort of guidance on a project I missed out on when I starting as a designer. I'm keen for people to avoid certain mistakes or needlessly longer paths to their goals.

This advice is often not what they want to hear, but is what they need to hear. I know this because I've been there and done it already. A while after we talked, they came back and thanked me. A win—win for both of us.


Elevator Pitches

1 hour, 1 stage, 20 people, 3 minutes each. No gaps.


The idea is to give creatives an opportunity to talk publicly about a project. The best of the group return to give a full talk at a future Reasons To conference.

Every year me and another designer Andy work with 3 AV guys and 1 person timing to make this this logistical nightmare happen. Over the years we have perfected a backstage process to minimise the chance of mistakes and give each person a clear path for a great presentation. This can be summed up in a single word: Practice.

We have found that making the nuts and bolts of getting on and off a stage as robotic and boring as possible. this means each person can simply focus on their presentation. There's a big difference between practice at home and practice on a huge theatre stage and because of that, we do all our dry runs on stage as if it were the real thing.

A slightly smaller group for 2017 gave us a tiny bit of wiggle room within the hour slot for problems: Thankfully there were no problems.

Bless 'em, this year the Elevator Pitchers gave me and Andy a thank you card.


Take aways from Reasons To

Read more about Jon Hicks and Mark Boulton.


Now what?