Weapons of Mass Creation Fest
You Won’t Want to Miss This Three-Day Design Conference
By Heather Sakai (Event Director, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest), Photo by Patrick Chin
Cleveland is a city on the rise. With brand new venues, restaurants, art galleries and events popping up all over our city, it’s often hard to keep up. But for a city so long misunderstood, this is a welcome problem to have.
One of the hidden gems just waiting to be discovered by visitors and Clevelanders alike is produced by Cleveland web and graphic design firm Go Media, located in Ohio City. Founded by Go Media partner Jeff Finley, now curated by Heather Sakai and Go Media Front End Developer Bryan Garvin, this three-day design conference has been dubbed Cleveland’s version of SXSW or How Design. However, because it’s based in Cleveland, and Cleveland is a Land of its own, Weapons of Mass Creation Fest is completely one of a kind.
Weapons of Mass Creation (WMC) Fest has been building up steam since it first began in 2010. Year one saw under 50 attendees, brought together to celebrate a collective passion for design, art and music. Momentum built, and an underground, grassroots community has made WMC Fest into what it is today: a professional, nationally-recognized conference that draws 1,000 attendees from all across the globe annually. Due to an incredible amount of social media outreach, most attendees are from outside of Ohio, even representing the U.K. and New Zealand.
So, creatives, makers, artists and lovers of all things beautiful, WMC Fest wants you. And, your timing couldn’t be more perfect. After all, this year, the Fest’s sixth year, is expected to be the biggest and best yet. You’ll be partying under the world’s largest outdoor chandelier and sitting in (arguably) the nation’s comfiest seats at the Allen Theatre, Playhouse Square August 7-9th.
The conference will kick off Friday with a Cleveland Studio Tour and end with the battle of the century, Ink Wars, where eight artists go head to head in a live art battle (Sharpies flying, music blaring, NBA Finals energy). Saturday and Sunday’s schedule is choose-your-own-adventure style. Pack yours with talks from featured guests like design legends Michael Bierut, Partner at New York’s well-known agency Pentagram, and Debbie Millman of the first and longest-running design podcast, Design Matters. You can also fill your time with workshops on subjects like entrepreneurship, branding, poster design and food typography; panel discussions (try Saturday’s starring some pretty adorable 5-year-olds); and portfolio reviews. Spend the rest of your time networking with kindred spirits and making cool stuff in the vendor village.
Weapons of Mass Creation Fest will not only surprise and delight you, but it will also make you wonder what else you’ve been missing out on in Cleveland. And if you’re lucky, if you truly dive into the whole experience fully, it just may be three days that change your life.