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Participating at BDF

We take great care in putting together a balanced programme of speakers from a variety of disciplines.

How do we select our speakers?

Most of our speakers and workshop hosts are invited by us based on a number of criteria, ranging from people we admire to folks who have an interesting story to tell. We try to ensure a good local contingent, celebrating the success of designers based in or from Birmingham, as well as a strong selection of top designers from around the world.

Money, of course, plays a part. We fund a speaker’s travel and accommodation, so that’s taken into consideration when booking guests. We also want to ensure that the cast of contributors to the festival is representative of the industry and that there’s a good split of genders and backgrounds, making the programme diverse and inviting.

We divide our speakers up based on the Design Districts of the festival (read more about those here) and will have roughly 20 from each district.

If you want to be considered for speaking at the festival in 2019, submit a call for entry from 14th January.

What does it involve?

Typically each of our lectures lasts for around 30 minutes with 10 minutes added to the end for a Q&A with the audience. Speakers will be advised on the theme of the festival, or the topic we wish them to cover ahead of time. We’re absolutely happy for this to be a collaborative thing to help you prepare. Above all, we want the speakers and audience to come away feeling inspired and that their time was well invested.

Workshops are a little more bespoke and can run for any length of time. These are dependent on us having a location to run the workshop as well.

Ahead of the festival we’ll liaise with you and give you a full itinerary for your plans You’ll need to work with us to prep these so that travel and accommodation arrangements are all in hand.

What do you get?

Speakers have the opportunity to attend the entire festival for free, dipping in and out of lectures from their peers or simply explore Birmingham.

You’ll also get some free gifts from us with a bumper speaker pack featuring pin badges and festival merch. Last year’s speaker pack also featured a beautiful hand painted mug by Seven9 Signs (above).

Depending on distance and preference, travel and accommodation are covered by the festival for the duration of your stay.

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