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While Interaction 16 in Helsinki was simply amazing, I’m pretty damn excited about this year’s location – Interaction 17 takes place at Reaktor’s second home, New York.
Being able to combine one of the coolest design conferences of the year and the intriguing concrete jungle of the Big Apple is not an everyday treat. Having said that, I gathered some practical tips on how to get the most out of this exciting combination.
1.Build your schedule early
During the main event held Feb 6-8, the days are split into two parts. The mornings are the same for everyone, but in the afternoon, before the networking events and keynotes, you have the freedom to choose from three sessions.
Go through the options beforehand and plan your days well to make sure you make the most of the program. (But don’t start browsing through the schedule just yet – there are more tips to come!)
2.Learn about the locations
Interaction 17 takes place in multiple locations, all of which are in Chelsea and fairly close to each other. However, you should remember that the afternoon sessions are about a 15-minute walk away from the main venue. And there’s a whole lot to see in Chelsea in addition to the conference happenings.
In other words: Reserve enough time for moving from one place to another (and for just roaming around) and wear comfortable shoes.
Pro tip: the best coffee during the afternoon sessions is served at SVA Theatre, brought to you by Reaktor.
3.Make good use of the breaks by mingling
Let your phone be and talk to the people hanging around. You’re surrounded by some of the most interesting designers from all over the world, so get to know them. Ask questions, tell your own stories and discuss your sessions with your peers.
4.Join the conference Slack
On ixda.slack.com, there are great practical tips about the locations, schedule, and speakers. Join the group and follow the discussion during the event – usually, people talk about alternative underground evening activities or the best lunch places around the venues.
5.See how the locals do it at the open studios
There are multiple studio tours during Tuesday evening – they’re a great way of seeing some local offices and finding out how these companies are making it in New York. Meet great like-minded people in a relaxed setting and talk about the world of design and your experiences.
Pro tip: the closest studio to the main location is only a few blocks away – at Reaktor NYC office. Expect great music, cold beer and breathtaking views of the Empire State building from the terrace.
6.Take time for yourself, and have fun
New York is awesome. There are lots to see and do, so I can only encourage you to enjoy that to the fullest extent. Planning ahead is always good but let yourself just go with the flow too. Enjoy the city, the people, and all they have to offer. See you around, and feel free to share your own tips in the comment field below!