A monolithic banner reading Welcome to Leading Design London stands in front of the verdant jungle-like garden inside the Barbican.

What comes to mind when you hear the word 'conference'? For us, it's back-to-back speakers in badly lit rooms and awkward small talk in the line for the loo. But Leading Design London is a different kind of event. Year after year, attendees come away saying the same things - "I was so inspired", "great conversations", "friends made for life". They really do. So, what is it that makes Leading Design London so special?

Speakers that know their stuff

Smiling faces in the audience.

For starters the speakers really are world class. From Instagram and Sky Design, to Condé Nast, the Natural History Museum, Digitas, and Bumble, they have run design teams at some of the best known companies around the world. But don't be fooled into thinking they've had it easy. Indeed, leadership can be a lonely place and our speakers will share the raw, unvarnished truth of life at the top and how to thrive under pressure. An array of timely topics will be covered, including "Designing change: How to lead your team through change and come out stronger" by James Stevens and "The value of design (that's more than just business)" by Ray Ho.

People that are really nice

Two women talking and smiling with drinks in hand.

Secondly, design leader folk are lovely! One Leading Design attendee said: "I was with my people, my designer tribe. It was an intimate cocoon where we were all learning, growing, and being inspired by conversation and community". There will be plenty of opportunities to connect with peers over a cup of coffee, a cocktail or a delicious plate of food.

A venue that is very cool

Inside the garden of the Barbican at night, lit dramatically.

All of this takes place in a truly breathtaking venue. The Barbican Centre is based in the heart of the city, and one of London's best examples of Brutalist architecture. The majority of our social time together will be spent in the Barbican's tropical conservatory oasis, surrounded by over 1,500 species of plants and trees. As evening draws in, the venue is lit by incredible coloured lighting to set the mood for our after parties. This year, we are thrilled to offer exclusive Leading Design tours of the conservatory and Barbican building.

Whilst we're working hard to ensure the right balance of talks, panel and time to connect with others, we also recognise that conferences can be a little overwhelming for some. So, we're making sure to create a few quiet spaces and 'no small talk zones' for you to rest and recuperate.

Food that is delicious

Attendees getting delicious food from the attentive staff.

No Leading Design event would be complete without a delicious lunch. Our menu is being prepared by Searcys who specialise in bold, ingredient-focused Italian cooking in a bistronomy style. You can expect mouthwatering dishes, with a focus on seasonality and sustainability.

Coffee that is life changing

A man and a woman smiling and chatting during a coffee break.

This year, we're thrilled to have the award-winning and socially conscious Change Please serving up our coffees. With their own beans from the best growing regions around the world, Change Please serve barista coffee with 100% of profits going towards their training programme for people who have experienced homelessness. It really is a life changing brew!

Cocktails that are fabulous

Four attendees clinking their glasses together and smiling at the evening reception.

At the end of each day, we will be offering up the classiest of cocktails and mocktails at our bar in the Barbican conservatory. The perfect opportunity to reflect on the day's learnings and have a drink (or two) alongside old friends and new.

Join us!

So don't miss this opportunity to meet your peers from across the industry in an atmosphere where long lasting relationships are formed.

Leading Design London is on 2-3 November 2022 at the Barbican Centre. Secure your place today!