A group of local professionals is organizing a design conference, called TopCon, in an effort to attract and retain talent and improve Chattanooga's creative community.
"A lot of great creatives move on to bigger cities and better opportunities, and we believe that creating an active culture is key in keeping assets in this area and bringing more depth to the talent pool," one of the organizers, Nick Turner, said via email. "While the event is tailored to designers, we think design affects everyone, so anybody can get something out of this event."
TopCon is an independently organized event that is named after toponymy, which is the study of places and their names, according to the conference website.
Investment in good design is a community investment, Turner also said. And whether people realize it, they interact with design every day.
And investment in the creative community is a step toward overall improvement of the city, he said.
"The more talent our community is connected to and working with, the better. Creative thinking can transform a place, and we want to be part of that," Turner said.
Organizers are selling 150 tickets for this event, which may become an annual conference.
—Aaron Robbs, a New York City-based graphic designer and art director, who is originally from Chattanooga. Now, he works for Kickstarter.
—Lydia Nichols, who is a West Coast designer who has worked with companies such as Playskool and Progresso.
—Aaron Draplin, who is the owner of Draplin Design Company in Bend, Ore.
The event will be at Clyde's on Main Street, which is a perfect location, Turner said.
"I think it's an incredible reminder of where the city has been and where it is going," he said. "We want people to have a great experience, not just at the event, but when they visit our city as well. Clyde's really puts us in the thick of it and gives attendees easy access to a vibrant part of town."
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