For the past 8 years, Semi-Permanent has been THE design conference to go to if you live in Auckland. Originating from Australia, it’s been going strong since I was a first year design student all those years ago and I’ve been to so many I’ve lost count. I know I’ve missed at least one but it was with a very reluctant, heavy heart. SP began as a one day event of creative industry speakers from around the world, but now it’s ballooned into a two day event with a myriad of side events (art exhibitions, after parties, subtle mobs) running alongside the conference. It’s a super inspiring event and one that no creative should miss. I swear I come home super charged and ready to explode with things to explore/make/research.
This year, the New Zealand organisers of SP, The Church have branched off from SP to do their own conference called We Can Create. The two design conferences are 2 weeks apart. SP is 12-13 August and WCC is 26-27 August. With limited WCC earlybird tickets $250 each it’s going to be a vicious competition for ticket sales. Most designers I know struggle to scrape up the money for the 1 design conference. 2 design conferences in a fortnight? 2 Fridays off work in a month? Forget it.
With the popularity of SP, surely there is room in Auckland for 2 events? But back to back is a bit mean to design fans. Six months apart would have been sweeeeet. Have one in summer when the world is warm and wonderful outdoor events can be planned to smite the August conference. That is, if you’re into smiting.
I’ve seen some amazing, world class designers speak. Jessica Hishe last year was fabulous. Stefan Sagmeister and Marian Bantjes in 2008. Oh my gawd.
I’m not sure which one I will go to this year, hey maybe I’ll stumble upon a pot of gold and go to both. But I’ll be watching the speaker announcements carefully and hope I can make a decision before the earlybird tickets upgrade to general tickets ($320 each for WCC).
Edit 6th May 2011
Just received from the WCC Facebook page: Hi everyone! Some good news for all you creative types before the weekend: Semi-Permanent, New Zealand recently announced that they will be moving their event dates to early 2012. So looks like you’ll be spoilt for choice and there will be more than enough art & design goodness for our creative community all year round!