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The Best Motion Design Conferences of 2018

By Caleb Ward

Want to go on a Motion Design vacation? Here’s a list of 6 Motion Design conferences to attend in 2018.

As a Motion Designer you probably don’t realize that our industry is much bigger than online tutorials imply. Around the world there are thousands, if not millions, of Motion Designers working on their craft everyday. Conferences are a great way to meet these people and get an idea of just how big this international community is.
We’re stoked to go to a few conferences this year, so we thought it’d be fun to put together a list of some of the most important Motion Design conferences to attend in 2018. Unfortunately it’s an off year so Blend is not on the list...

  • Location: Prague, Czech Republic
  • Date: March 23 - 24
  • Price: 2200 CZK ($105.86 USD)

The Mouvo conference has what is probably the most exciting speaker lineup in the entire Motion Design conference circuit. This year speakers include artists from Dvein, Etagma, Buck, and more. Industry pros will lead panel discussions and talks about the latest Motion Design trends and techniques. This conference is way more intimate and relaxed than a typical MoGraph conference. Here’s an interview they did with GMUNK from last year:
School of Motion is also super proud to be a sponsor of this year’s event. If you end up going let ‘em know we sent you. Who knows? You may even get a free drink.

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  • Location: Las Vegas, NV
  • Date: April 9 - 12
  • Price: Free Exhibit Pass with Code PPW02, Post Production World Passes Start at $445
NAB is the largest gathering of video professionals in the world. Seriously, you’ve never seen this many nerds (myself included) in your entire life. While you will certainly find hundreds, if not thousands of Motion Designers, NAB focuses on far more than just Motion Design. The conference features over 1700 booths from companies ranging from software developers to camera manufacturers.
At NAB everyone is competing to get your attention so companies go all-in (forced Las Vegas pun...) to get your attention. Every booth has free giveaways and goodies. I personally won a $1000 production light and all of the Red Giant products last year. Enter every giveaway you can!
Here’s a quick overview video from last year:
The team here at School of Motion loves NAB. In fact, this year Joey will be presenting at Post Production World. It does cost extra to attend PPW, but if you’re serious about learning it’s a great investment. Here’s a breakdown of Joey’s sessions: April 9 - Monday
  • 2:00 - 3:15 PM - Automating Motion Graphics
  • 3:30 - 4:45 PM - The Freelance Field Guide
April 10 - Tuesday
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM - The Art of Animation: Essential Concepts for MoGraph Artists
  • 5:00 - 6:30 PM - Panel Discussion: After Effects Power Tips from Top Experts
April 11 - Wednesday
  • 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM - Design Hacks for Non-Designers
School of Motion is also throwing a big party at the conference with The Futur, GreyscaleGorilla, aescripts + aeplugins, and possibly Video Copilot. Be on the lookout for more information on our blog and social media as we get closer to the event. If you want to learn more about NAB check out our guide from last year.
Note: Use the code PPW02 to receive a free exhibit pass to NAB 2018 and get $100 off Post Production World.

  • Location: Vancouver, BC
  • Date: August 12 - 16
  • Price: $1150 (Last Year’s Price)
If NAB is for nerds, SIGGRAPH is for wizards. SIGGRAPH is where computer experts go to show off innovations in Motion Design and computer technology. At the conference you’ll get to try out the latest in VR, 3D, AR, and any other futuristic entertainment device you can think of.
One of my favorite parts about SIGGRAPH is the fact that some of the biggest studios in the world like Pixar, Disney Animation, and ILM breakdown their projects. On top of that, they’ll even open the floor to Q&A questions from the audience. So if you’re interested in exactly how ILM did that Holdo Hyperspace Sacrifice in The Last Jedi, you can find out.
The festival even has a job fair and animation festival. However, if I had to choose my favorite part I think I’d have to choose the 3D printed pancakes. They were seriously giving these away for free at the last conference. It was amazing.
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While none of the dates or locations have been locked down yet, we’d be remissed if we didn’t talk about Adobe Video World. The conference is a multi-day event, exclusively geared to video professionals who use Adobe products. This includes everything from After Effects to Premiere Pro.
As a Motion Designer you likely wear a lot of hats so this is a great place to grow your diverse skill-set and meet friends along the way. Historically Adobe has showcased new software at AVW too.

Adobe Max.jpg
All hail the Creative Cloud...
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Date: October 15 - 17
  • Price: $1595
Adobe Max is like Coachella for people who use Adobe software. The conference goes by the tagline ‘The Creativity Conference’ and it has risen to fame over the last few years due to some of the technological innovations showcased at the event. The conference covers a wide-array of artistic disciplines including photography, illustration, video, and Motion Design.
There are also hundreds of artists showcasing their work around the conference. Seriously, you’ll leave with no less than a dozen posters. This is a great place to network with people, especially because a lot of people at the event will need Motion Design work at some point in their career. Plus, the conference takes place in LA so the weather will be perfect.

Motion Conference.jpg
  • Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Date: June 5 - 8
  • Price: $675
The Motion conference is the smallest conference on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less significant. Motion is an ‘un-conference’ where Motion Designers, Animators, VFX artists, and filmmakers can come together to discuss the craft.
The conference is the perfect balance of demos, interviews, talks, and hangouts. In fact, there’s a Motion meet-up every night of the event. It’s also one of the cheapest conferences on the list with discounts to students. Don't’ forget to eat a green-chile burger while you’re in New Mexico.
2018 is going to be an awesome year for Motion Design. We’re hoping to make it out to as many of these conferences as we can. Give us a shout if you’re planning on attending any. Now if you excuse me I have some flights to book…