In recent years the ubiquitous conference site has seen a notable increase in creativity. What were once sleep-inducing clunkers, are now eye-brow raising, chin-rubbing gardens of inspiration.

The designers behind the following master collection deserve more than a cursory glance at their screenshot images for they have taken on the challenge of designing and developing for designers and developers. It’s an arduous task that guarantees at least a couple of thumbs-down from someone somewhere with an opposing opinion. On the flip-side, if you design an awesome conference site… the sky could be the limit for future opportunities. A worthy challenge indeed!

If you know of a great conference site then please share them in the comments below!

KIKK Festival by Dogstudio

Nov 3 - 5 2016, Wallonia - Namur, Belgium

If you’ve been following the KIKK site designs over the years then you probably won’t be surprised to see the 2016 KIKK site design at the top of our list. Dogstudio are masters of this genre (and most others!) which becomes immediately evident the moment the site appears on-screen. Not only is the “pulsing bubble” wicked to look at, it invokes the killer response that every designer and dev secretly yearns for… “how’d the heck did they do that?”

We love the use of color and the “discover as you scroll” design is a delight to use. Dogstudio’s famous design-wit makes a very subtle appearance with words like “Intergalactic Festival” and the wickedly simple sub-nav titles “Move, Sleep, Eat and Drink” on the Practical Details page. Love the glitch effect when navigating through the site. Top marks!

#damnGood #howdTheyDoThat? #goPurple #hotSite

Digital Design Days / OFF Milano by Filippo Spiezia

October 27, 28 & 29 2016, Milan, Italy

This site is tight. Great visuals, interactive elements and strong typography reveal a true digital craftsman at work. Every pixel has been crafted with purpose resulting in a LOT of information beautifully presented.

Site creator Filippo Spiezia’s experience shines through on this trend-setting example with its dark tones highlighted by neon aqua and purple. The interactions are unique and smooth while at the same time the scroll performance is superlative, particularly given the amount of content on the home page.

#interactive #fresh #smooth #everyBoxTicked

Projekcje / Projections - Graphic Design Conference by Piotr Swierkowski

November 5 - 11 2016, Poznan, Poland

“Playful” is the first word that springs to mind for the design of the Projekcje site by Piotr Swierkowski & Torpedov. The site starts moving within nanoseconds as sequential loading of the elements is used to great effect. The result is a constructionist story that reminds us of the founding principles of grids and structure, both intrinsic to core topic of graphic design.

#playful #bright #Lightweight #vernacularDesign

Made by Few 2016 by Few

October 26 - 29 2016, Bentonville, Arkansas, USA

If you think about it, conference sites for designers have an enviably endless array of possibilities when it comes to the theme. Creative agency Few went with a quirky-illustrative look for the 2016 Made by Few site that harkens back to the glory days of dada.

We love the home screen of parallax powered characters and the chaotic design. All the info is where it should be so the user can get swept up in the vibe. Overall a fun design that is well worth a visit.

#quirky #parallax #bold #fun

Mixin conf by The Mixin Crew

October 28 2016, Perth, Australia

The Mixin conf site is a super lightweight site that relies on the power of in-trend colors and simplicity as key ingredients to its design success. An informative no-nonsense design, the site is enhanced by simple navigation and an overall modern aesthetic.

Produced by a team of 7 people from diverse backgrounds, the site could very easily have ended up full of political compromises but instead it flows from one simple page to the next. In a word… nice.

#niceColors #simple #informative #light&fast

JSConf EU

May 27 2017, Berlin, Germany

This site embraces what we call “simplism” - a hybrid trend that blends simplicity and minimalism with material design peeking over its shoulder. Perhaps it’s the use of space or maybe it’s the typography but there’s something about this design that makes it more than the sum of its parts. A modernist yet graceful design that uses color and space to great effect.

#greatColorUse #simplism #gracefulDesign

JSConf Iceland

August 25 - 26 2016, Reykjavik, Iceland

Speaking of simplism, this site takes the cake! So easy to use and built on a tasty foundation of yellow, mid-yellow and black. This conference finished in August but that’s ok because we’re here for the design which is as fresh as they get.

Following on from the oh-so-tasty home page, we find subtle color tints on the speaker’s page that add a fresh touch while helping to calm what could otherwise be an overdose of banana-pie. All-in-all a really nice site design that is super-lightweight and a breeze to use.

#moreSimplism #yellow #lightweight&fast #greatJob

CSSConf Budapest by CSSConf

May 11 2016, Budapest, Hungary

Another conference over for this year, the CSSConf Budapest site made the list because the designers have produced a visually warm site that mixes friendliness with minimalism, bringing personality to a sometimes cold style.

A subtle interactive home screen meets the visitor and features a great illustration that sets the scene. From this point on the content gets super easy to absorb thanks to simple chunks of information and nice color changes. The details pages for the guest speakers take things further by adding potent gradients to the mix. A very strong design with all the right touches for designers.

#dynamic #scroll #colorful

Nordic.js

September 8-9 2016, Stockholm, Sweden

Designed for programmers, this site gets a “Conference Site 101” badge for incorporating all the necessary elements and presenting them in the target audience’s vernacular with no more, no less.

We love the flying animation of icons that meet the user upon load. Nav is simple and not hidden away, scroll is easy, some stylized video and an almost monotone colour scheme finish the job. The adidias tracksuits are a nice touch ;)

#flyingIcons #almostMonotone #eventSite101 #tracksuits

The frontend guide to life, universe and everything

September 15-16 2016, Bologna, Italy

FGLUE is one of the most illustrated sites on the list and nicely inspired by Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy. The site uses an original color scheme, cool typography and a very neat and unique pattern to visually brand the event. The info is right there with no need to navigate and the guest speakers are in cute circles with a modal when clicked. It’s simple, visually unique and attractive. Get your geek on!

#illustrated #uniqueColors #onePageSite #simple

Forge Conference

September 26 2016, Philadelphia, USA

You better hurry if you are heading to Forge, it’s happening on the 26th in Philly and there may still be tickets available. This is another one page site and although the visual design is attractive, the site is more about the information. Not surprising for an event about UX and product design. It’s neat and clean with enough edge to make things interesting. We like the “graphic shards” that balance the cleanliness of the design yet stay right out of the way of key information. An intelligent design for intelligent people.

#neat&clean #graphicShards #infoFocus #intelligentDesign

Loopconf

October 5-7 2016, Florida, USA

Loopconf is a conference for Wordpress developers and the site reflects this well. In the true style of Wordpress, the site demonstrates that you don’t always need to re-invent the wheel to make a commanding visual statement. Some typing effects, big easy text, simple black, white and green color scheme and a big call to action to buy tickets rounds off this clean design. Call to actions are top and bottom so nothing is left to chance.

#fresh #big&simple #bigCallToAction

Mirror Conf

September 23-24 2016, Braga, Portugal

Mirror Conference is happening right now (depending on when you are reading this) so it may be too late to get a ticket but the site is definitely worth checking out. We love the home page layout, animation and use of red and white, then blue and white on secondary pages. Big text and images ensure you don’t need glasses to read the info. Overall a juxtaposition of simplicity with a sense of technicality. Another great example of a cleanly designed conference site.

#coolMonotone #simpleTechnicality #clean

CSSConf USA by bocoup

September 26 - 27 2016, Boston, USA

The CSSConf USA site utilizes a single page design predominantly ruled by pink and highlighted by blue. We added it to the list mainly because of the very cool home page graphic and the coolness of using so much pink. There’s a touch of ol' school about this design with its simple grid structure but it's the contemporary illustrations that bring it home. Looking forward to next year’s design for sure!

#pink #cute #onePage

JSConf Colombia

October 7 - 8 2016, Colombia

We love discovering little nuggets of design gold hidden within sites and there’s a particular one you should see on this site for JSConf Colombia. The site itself has a unique aesthetic that uses basic polygon shapes as hero characters but it’s when you scroll that the gold nugget reveals itself. The origami like bird at the top of the page breaks into shapes that spin in the background - under the content. That's cool.

The site is topped off with a 3 color scheme consisting of faded yellow, red and a mid-navy blue. There’s no navigation because it’s a one pager. Different, in a good way!

#origamiStyle #3colorScheme #scrollToSee #differentInAgoodWay

The Design Conference by Matthew Haynes, Zann St Pierre & Spencer Harrison

May 25, 26 & 27 2016, Brisbane, Australia

The journey through this site starts with a black and white photo that serves to "reset" the visitor's eyes before hitting them with blasts of color as you scroll and interact with the content. We love the tile designs of the guest speakers, so spacious and simple with a fresh  effect that shifts colors when hovered.

It’s another one-pager that is packed with information. The color scheme is bright and energetic and is complimented by dynamic splashes of color in the background. A light yet comprehensive and contemporary design.

#elegant #clean #colorful #contemporary

Converge SE Conference

April 13 - 15 2016, Columbia, USA

Some sites rely on layout, some on personality and some utilize a bold visual to catch the eye of designers. This site uses the latter by combining a strong edgy grid of color that moves around as you hover over it. If you love the color scheme and want more then head over to the about page to get your fill. The remaining pages focus on the information but by now the eye candy has served its purpose and delivered a sugar sweet experience.

#greatColors #bold #friendly #coolHoverEffect

Front-end Design Conference

June 15 - 17 Florida, USA

Turn up the wow factor, the designers behind this site are not scared to make a statement thanks to wonderfully vivid colors, logical content hierarchy and playful typography. No need to panic though, the design chills-out when you start to navigate through the remaining pages. The font choice for textual information may not be everyones cup of tea but you’ve got to hand it to the creators for having no fear in implementing their design choices.

#kapow! #vividColors #playfulTypography #braveDesign

YGLF 2016 (You Gotta Love Frontend) Conference

June 27-28 2016, Tel Aviv, Isreal

This is a site that displays an elegant sense of minimalism and definitely follows the “less is more” approach, yet everything you need to know is easy to find. The starting interactive effect with the large YGLF is a very nice touch and the layout and colors set the tone for the rest of the site.

Stripped-down UX is at play regarding the call to action with a simple reverse-out button and the no-frills nav which appears both via a menu button top left and in the footer. Overall, a very nice design!

#minimalist #2color #nicelyDone

JSConf Uruguay

April 15 & 16 2016, Guatemala, Uruguay

A simple-yet-killer illustration with a touch of movement caught our eye and landed this site on our list. The color use and retro style of this design work well together. Scrolling past this cool graphic and we see everything as it should be from this point on. But honestly, it’s that cool illustration that got us in. Lesson learnt - never underestimate the power of illustration.

#coolHomeScreen #coolColors #justCool