25 top creative industry events to get involved with this year

Want to make this the year to join a creative community or career support network?
Ready to knuckle down on acing a professional quality, like commercialising yourself or making all-important freelance contacts?
Maybe you’ve just got the creative thirst for learning, listening and being inspired by creative luminaries?
Whatever your reasons, we’ve put together a pocket size list of organisers and their live events that lit up the scene in 2018 - ones that we think you should keep your eyes on over the next year!
Uniqlo Tate Lates images courtesy of Jessye Bloomfield, via The Dots

This funding, education and support network links female founders to funders and creates an entertaining programme of workshop events in London, Manchester and Glasgow including FoundHER and the AllBright festival.
The beloved brutalist structure is home to a programme of free events dedicated to nurturing creativity. 2018’s stand out happenings include Walthamstow Garden Party, Barbican OpenFest and their ever successful 16-25 programmes.
With the belief that startup culture is changing the world, Courier have positioned themselves at the heart of this revolution, running events that pin down physical space, online presence, sustainability, our generation's love of coffee and much more. Clever Boxer
With live talks, panel discussions, masterclasses and workshops, Clever Boxer delivers an abundance of resourceful and exceptional learning opportunities.
Rooted in culture and equality, this diversity organisation provides support, bursaries and programmes with the goal to equalise the creative playing field. Keep an eye out for their jam packed conferences such as #CELeaders.

Image of gal-dem takeover at V&A, courtesy of Ibiye Camp, via The Dots
Creative Social is a set of communities (creative social, brand social, innovation social) with a combined aim to accelerate innovative thinking through social events, thought leadership and specialised training.
Design & Art Direction is a charity and awards organisation promoting excellence in both esteemed and emerging creatives. Alongside awards events and fairs, D&AD are always planning panels, workshops and lectures. For Working Ladies
Applauded for their trailblazing panel discussions, For Working Ladies elevates women in their careers. A 2018 highlight was their ‘Back 2 Bizzness’ workshop series in collaboration with Bumble Bizz - all about exploring self promotion and public speaking.
Spearheading content produced by women and non-binary people of colour, gal-dem is the digital platform reflecting stories in media, art and creative collaborations. Check their facebook for frequent book clubs and more.
Offering a magnitude of educational courses for thriving careerists, this platform specialises in coding, data, marketing, design & product skills - perfect for growing skills portfolios and starting a professional course.
Image of The Barbican's Guildhall Music Sessions via Barbican on The Dots
Glug is the international network conducting talks and informal chats. With events in New York to Paris, Beijing to Berlin, Glug boasts an alumni of countless incredible speakers spanning design, architecture, tech and more.
Every last Tuesday of the month, expect East London’s Oval Space to play host to an evening of creative inspiration. The team always have a spectacular programme of four fantastic, candid and ever-eclectic speakers taking to the podium.
L.I.F.E Talks (learning from intelligent, fearless entrepreneurs) is a platform created by Velma Simmons, giving advice on how to access the entertainment industry via lecture style events with high profile speakers.
Manchester Art Gallery has a busy programme, free for all. Consistent highlights are their ‘Take Notice’ evenings, where visitors can experience art using guided mindfulness techniques and the Philosophy Cafe.
Embodying the risky nature of the advertising and marketing world is Take f*cking Risks and their top panel events. Last year's highlights included a sold out venue headlined by Cindy Gallop and a pub crawl for creatives.
Image courtesy of For Working Ladies via The Dots
With the aim to keep creativity viable in uncertain times, Powersuit Social is an 80s themed event where contemporary creatives discuss current issues, topped with pineapple cheese sticks.
The co-working studio and events space a stone's throw from Shoreditch High Street saw a very fun and full 2018. With a gathering of cultural events and fashion pop ups, highlights included the Protein Youth Report, Polly Norr's exhibitions and the community art event in aid of period poverty, 'Ovar It'. Look out for 2019.
Masterclasses roll out monthly to give attendees the unique opportunity to have a portfolio review by leading industry professionals. Previous masterclasses have been hosted at VICE, Spring Studios, AKQA, Royal Academy and have resulted in attendees gaining jobs, opportunities and invaluable connections.
This leading network for ambitious women & gender non-binary people, forms an authentic, physical space for members to collaborate, converse and support one another. Every quarter, a salon is hosted on a new theme.
Image of She Lights Up the Night exhibition at Protein Studios by Paul Plews via Aine Donovan, on The Dots

The Riposte team spotlight dynamic female creatives and extraordinary conversations. Now, with events in Berlin and New York under their belt, the team continue to blossom and bring topics from Tech to Publishing to light with their quality panels and workshops.
SheSays is the global creative network dedicated to tackling gender leadership imbalance. Watch out for their free mentorship scheme 'Who's your momma?', open to all women, all levels, in the advertising and marketing industry.
Connecting the dots within the creative industry for BAME talent, SocialFixt provides a digital community of support. Previous panel and session events have included ‘Fix the Gap’ and ‘Fix your CV’.
Liverpool, London and St.Ives offer a diverse range of events for the public to get stuck into. Tate Lates 2018 proved a big hit, merging music, exhibitions, pop-up talks and playful artistic activations. With a 2019 programme already bursting at the seams, there’s something for everybody with a love for art.
The V&A is the iconic space home to arts and culture, contemporary and ancient. In 2018, the top museum’s enriching programme of events included drawing sessions, lunchtime lectures, curator talks and exhibition guided tours, on top of exciting collaborations with the likes of gal-dem.
Women Who Otegha Uwagba, the brains behind Little Black Book, leads ‘Roundtables’ - part mentor sessions, part career clinics in an intimate and relaxed environment to help people navigate tricky career conundrums.
Paola Antonelli image courtesty of Riposte Presents

Team Credits

Laura Jordan-Bambach

  • Chief Creative Officer
  • Creative Partner, D&AD, Shesays, Dare, LBI, Glue London, I-D Media London, Lateral, Deepend, Terraplanet

Christy Molloy

Otegha Uwagba

Mercedes Benson

Danielle Pender

Velma Simmons


  • Barbican


    • Art Galleries
  • TATE


    • Art Galleries
  • V&A


    • Art Galleries
  • Protein


    • Education & Research
  • The Socials

    The Socials

    • Design & Creative
  • General Assembly

    General Assembly

    • Technology
  • D&AD


    • Design & Creative
  • Creative Equals

    Creative Equals

    • Social & Environmental
  • Glug


    • Design & Creative
  • The Dots - Portfolio Masterclasses

    The Dots - Portfolio Masterclasses

    • Digital Media
  • She Says

    She Says

    • Events
  • Riposte Magazine

    Riposte Magazine

    • Publishing
  • Power Suit Social

    Power Suit Social

    • Events
  • Courier


    • Media Production
  • The Quarter Club

    The Quarter Club

    • Arts
  • Clever Boxer

    Clever Boxer

    • Events
  • It's Nice That

    It's Nice That

    • Publishing
  • gal-dem magazine

    gal-dem magazine

    • Media Production
  • Mellor&Smith


    • Advertising
  • Manchester Art Gallery

    Manchester Art Gallery

    • Arts and Culture
  • For Working Ladies

    For Working Ladies

    • Online Media
  • Life Talks

    Life Talks

    • Events
  • AllBright


    • Communications
  • SocialFixt


    • Advertising


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The Dots - Tips & Insights
articles, interviews, advice & top creative events
Simone Baird
Clever Boxer founder
Laura Jordan-Bambach
Chief Creative Officer