Conferences are a great way to gain exposure to new ideas, meet new people, and get excited about the craft. However it’s rare to come away from a talk having gained a brand new skill.

There are various reasons for this, but one of them is the concept of embodied cognition. The idea that you learn new skills by practicing them, rather than just being exposed to the underlying concepts. This is why we also love workshops, and ensure they form part of the programme at UX London and Leading Design.

Over the years we’ve met many amazing speakers and participated in hundreds of workshops, many of which have people talking about them for weeks or months to come. Their content has informed our practices, and the tools we’ve learned are used on an almost daily basis. Everything from sketching and design games, through to design sprints and the business model canvas.

Many of these workshop speakers have become our friends, and will regularly drop us a line when passing through London. One of the things that drives Clearleft is the desire to share knowledge, so we’ve decided to use these visits as a way of sharing workshops with the wider community.

In short, we’re starting a new workshop programme called Clearleft Presents. It will be made up entirely of some the wonderful and insightful speakers from over the years, and will take place roughly once a quarter.

Our first workshop in the series is with the wonderful Blair Enns. We’ve been following Blair for many years at Clearleft, and his “Win Without Pitching” book has been a great influence on the way we do business and sell our work.

I was lucky enough to attend one of Blair’s rare UK workshops six years ago, and it left a lasting impression on me. So he was the first person I thought of when organising our Founders Assembly event last year. Blair will be visiting the UK in early July and we’ve invited him to deliver a workshop for agency founders, directors and biz dev folk called “The Four Conversations” on the 6th July in London. Tickets are on sale now and the venue is purposefully small, so book tickets soon before we sell out.

Following Blair in September, I’m excited to announce we’ll be hosting a workshop with Jake Knapp, author of the seminal Design Sprints book. Jake’s workshop at UX London a few years back was an amazing success; so much so it quickly reached capacity and we were forced to turn people away at the door. Since leaving Google Ventures earlier this year, Jake has been selling out design sprint workshops around the world, so we’re super excited to welcome him back to London in September.

We’re still working out the details of the workshop, but if you’re interested in attending, drop us a line with your details and we’ll let you know when tickets go on sale. Also if there is somebody you’d especially like to see, drop us a line and we’ll try to make it happen.