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Can a local conference offer everything that a national one can? (TL;DR: yes)

You’ve heard of the big conferences. HOW Design Live. Adobe Max. Circles Conference. They’re considered top destinations for creatives around the country, and the price tags certainly reflect that.

And then you think of the Method + Madness Conference. It’s right here in Phoenix, and the ticket prices are much lower, so obviously it can’t be as good as those other ones, right?

But the thing is, the local focus and the affordable tickets are entirely intentional. As a non-profit organization, we aren’t in it for the big bucks or the widespread acclaim. We’re here for the community. And frankly, it pays off.

Year after year, the ridiculously charismatic culture of the Arizona design community brings together some of the top talent from around the nation for a weekend of inspiration and learning. The result is a conference that offers the same level of awesome as many others you’ll find around the country–without destroying your vacation fund.

Don’t believe us? We’ll break it down for you.

We’ve got the speakers

When you go to a conference, what’s the first thing you check? If you’re anything like us, it’s the speakers. After all, we’re just design geeks who want to soak up some of the pixie dust from the likes of Google’s Jennifer Hom, The White House’s Ashleigh Axios, or UIE’s Jared Spool.

Not enough name dropping? Think of this: at HOW Design Live, you might have heard from people like James Victore, Pinterest’s Brian Singer, Von Glitschka, and Sterling Brands’ Debbie Millman. You may have seen former Adobe Creative Resident Becky Simpson at Adobe MAX, or hear from Jessica Walsh at this year’s Circles Conference.

Every one of those individuals (and many more) have graced the halls of the Method + Madness Conference. And we’ve got another awesome lineup coming your way for 2016. This year, we plan to have 11 national keynote speakers at Method + Madness, plus more than 15 local speakers leading the 6 educational tracks.

We bring the big speakers to you so you can learn from the masters without even leaving the state. And here’s the cool part: the speakers won’t just be rocking it out on stage. We encourage speakers to attend the PHXDW 2016 Kickoff Party and Method + Madness Saturday Evening Reception, both of which are free to conference ticket holders. If you’re the lucky sort, you might rub shoulders with some of the amazing folks who are driving the design industry today (get ready to get your #humblebrag on back at the office).

And we’ve got the community

Okay, so we’ve got some cool speakers. But are you just going to spend the whole weekend in seminars?

Uh, no. That would be lame.

This is the Arizona design community we’re talking about. We’re a vibrant, eclectic group, and the Method + Madness Conference is the big shebang that brings everyone together. Attendees have this great little habit of making new friends quickly, which we’re sure to facilitate through the variety of social events we have prepared (be sure to hit up the evening reception on Saturday!). Plus, day two of the conference is all about getting down and dirty with hands-on workshops and classes led by smart cookies who know what they’re talking about.

Trust us, there will be plenty of opportunities to make new friends. Or new contacts, if you prefer—but really, is there a difference?

At the right price

The speakers are fantastic, the community is even better. Now, let’s talk some direct price comparisons, shall we?

  • A big favorite is the HOW Design Live conference in Chicago. Last time we checked, the ticket price was $1,200 for 5 days, not including your flight and hotel.
  • Adobe Max is $1,295 for 3 days in San Diego. The least expensive hotel option on their website is $225 per night.
  • An Event Apart is $1,290 for 3 days, and the closest location is San Francisco.
  • Circles Conference is $427 for 2 days, plus $97 for each additional workshop. It’s over in Grapevine, Texas.
  • The Brand New Conference is $500 for 2 days, and it’s all the way out in Nashville.

But the Method + Madness Conference? Just $369 for a full-price, non-member ticket. It’s located right here in Phoenix (with plenty of affordable hotel options, if needed), and we’re offering some intense discounts if you buy advance tickets and/or are a member of AIGA.

So is it anything like the national conferences?

Yes. And, if we do say so ourselves, maybe even better. But don’t take our word for it.

Purchase your ticket to M + M 2016

“I hope nobody ever tells the PHXDW organizers that they're only charging a tenth of what they should be for a conference of this caliber”

James Archer, 2014 attendee

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