Jay Nelson at the HOW Design Conference

If you want something wonderful to do in June — something that not only increases your value as a designer, but also inspires you as a designer — find a way to attend the HOW Design Conference.

This year, the conference takes place from June 24 through June 27 in the beautiful and vibrant city of Austin, Texas. In recent years, the event has attracted more than 3,000 designers, with more than 50 industry experts presenting what they know best. 

This year, I’m fortunate to be presenting a three-hour session on “Using QuarkXPress with Adobe’s Creative Suite.” I’ll be focusing on the many ways that Adobe’s apps can be used with QuarkXPress, including how to manipulate Adobe documents in ways that Adobe’s products aren’t allowed to.

I’ll also be demonstrating some of the breakthrough features in QuarkXPress 7 and 8, as well as showing tips that will cause even the most longtime user of QuarkXPress will (I hope) gape in awe.

Other topics run the gamut from how make your business more successful, to how to be more creative, and how to use the design software that we all know and love/hate. The conference organizers have also arranged for studio tours of several of the leading design firms in Austin — an opportunity that couldn’t arise any other way.

But more than anything, the conference gives you a unique opportunity to spend time with some of the greatest design professionals in the industry. You just can’t overestimate the value of the friendships and business relationships that take root when mingling among thousands of talented designers. I’ve been blown away by the opportunities that arose in the months and years after attending my last HOW Design Conference.

And I think you will, too.

And BTW, in my role as an industry watcher I’ve been impressed at how the conference has grown into its current hugely successful format. The organizers are top-notch, the presenters are full of timeless (and timely) wisdom, and the attendees are friendly and eager to meet others.

So come on down to Austin and enjoy an incredible breadth and depth of live music, excellent food, breathtaking beauty, friendly natives, relaxing waterplay (float down the San Marcos River, baby!), and become a more successful designer.