The countdown is on: In a few days, award-winning web design festival Reasons To Be Creative will take Brighton by storm, helping to usher in the larger Brighton Digital Festival 2013 in the process.
Running from 2-4 September and taking in three venues across the vibrant, south coast city, Reasons To Be Creative (RTBC) is bursting at the seams with inspiring keynotes, workshops, and showcases, so much so that attendees could be forgiven if they felt a tad overwhelmed as they look to put together an itinerary.
With that in mind, we've compiled a preview of five can't miss sessions at the event - for the whole picture, be sure to check out the full Reasons To Be Creative schedule.
Keynote: Adobe's Paul Trani
Monday, 2 September, 10:00 - Kicking off Reasons To Be Creative is Paul Trani, otherwise known as Adobe's senior worldwide Creative Cloud evangelist. Dubbed 'Tools and Creativity,' Paul's keynote address will focus on the workflows that empower designers and developers to "make the world more awesome," looking how interactivity can flourish across a variety of mediums, including print, the web, video, and hardware devices. This is a rare opportunity to see Paul speak live, as he normally hides out Hunter S-style at a mystery location in the Colorado mountains, so make sure you're at the ritzy Brighton Dome sharpish on Monday morning to hear him reflect on a decade-plus at software giant Adobe.
Inspired Session: Stefan Sagmeister
Monday, 2 September, 20:00 - The Rolling Stones, Guggenheim Museum, HBO, and two Grammy Awards working with the Talking Heads and Brian Eno - Stefan Sagmeister's CV sounds like something dreamt up after a visit to one of Amsterdam's more infamous cafe establishments. But rest assured, it's no pipe dream, and while a lucky few have secured tickets to Sagmeister's now sold out workshop at Reasons To Be Creative, his evening Inspired Session on Monday is open to all - at least, until the Brighton Dome has people hanging from the rafters. Titled 'Design and Happiness,' Sagmeister's session will pivot around his upcoming documentary, Happy Film, which saw the renowned creative flirt with meditation, cognitive therapy, and - yes - drugs, en route to reaching some intriguing conclusions about how designers can harness their skills to create happiness. Not that he's ambitious, or anything...
Visit: Startup Marketplace and Student Showcase
2-4 September - Curated in partnership with the likes of e-commerce platform Shopify, the Reasons To Be Creative Startup Marketplace is a chance for cool, up-and-coming brands to showcases their wares, and is the perfect opportunity for punters to scout out a unique present ahead of the holiday season. Then there's the Student Showcase, which sees RTBC teaming up with local area colleges and universities to provide students with an enhanced platform to present their end-of-year projects. It's a particularly poorly kept secret that Brighton is one of the UK's top creative hubs, so we're really looking forward to having our senses attacked by its brightest young minds. The showcase is also an opportunity for established organisations to scout potential new talent, as the festival's founder John Davey explains: "What we're trying to do is expose them to a much bigger network. A lot of agencies come to the event constantly looking for new talents and interns and it's a great confidence booster for the kids to be able to show their content to a big audience that contains a lot of heavy hitters, and then come away from it with feedback and contacts."
Keynote: Microsoft's Andrew Spooner
Tuesday, 3 September, 10:00 - Creative technologist and UX evangelist is one of those job titles that makes you wish you had been a gung-ho geek since day one instead of wasting all of those years kicking around globular objects and dropping lame chat up lines at Oceania. Who knows how Microsoft's Andrew Spooner spent his youth, but we do know that he gets to attach that über-swanky string of words to his name. Billed as a "journey into sound," Andrew's keynote will see him on draw on more than 15 years of experience in web development and, no doubt, his work at the ol' MSFT, too. Most recently, he has focused on apps for the firm's latest platforms, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, as well as delving into emerging technologies and natural UIs. If you're like us, you'll want to get a glimpse at how one of the world's most distinguished tech companies harnesses it dev gurus, making Tuesday morning's 'What made the first beep and why did the first beep, beep?' keynote one of RTBC's can't miss moments.
The Elevator Pitch
Wednesday, 4 September, 10:00 - Going out with a bang, Reasons To Be Creative launches into its final day with the adrenaline-fuelled Elevator Pitch, which gives 20 people - a "mish-mash of designers, developers, and creatives" - three minutes each to sell their idea to the audience. As with the Startup Marketplace and Student Showcase, the purpose of the session is to unearth new talent, with the top three presenters getting invited back to speak at next year's be-in.
Indeed, Reasons To Be Creative founder John Davey picked the Elevator Pitch as one of his personal highlights of the event, telling us how it radically bucked the typical conference trend of slightly lackadaisical morning sessions: "It's funny, because I've always put it on first thing in the morning and traditionally [with] morning sessions, people dawdle in and take their time to arrive. That one, literally the second that we start the room is jam-packed - it's so exciting!"
Fancy suitably tickled? For more, check our interview with Reasons To Be Creative founder John Davey and we'll see you on the train to Brighton next week - a limited number of tickets are still available for collection on the door, if you haven't already done the needful.