Host an event

**The ADW21 Call for Proposals is now closed! Thank you to everyone who submitted. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for ADW21 updates. We can't wait to see you in November**


We’re opening our Call for Event Proposals for Austin Design Week 2021!

Our mission is to build an inclusive community that empowers and inspires Austin’s creative problem solvers— and to do that, we need you!

From visual to interactive, web and mobile, product, industrial, architectural, fashion, and civic design—Austin Design Week is a chance to explore a new discipline, deepen connections with Austin’s creative community, use design to solve problems, and learn from Austin’s most innovative creators. All of our events are hosted by members of the community.

The ADW21 theme is all about co-creating a collective future— working together as creative problem-solvers to identify upcoming challenges and work through them. We call it “Futuring” and we’re inviting everyone to take part— not just the futurists and visionaries among us, because the future is being created now

Read more about our theme here.

We ask that before you begin your proposal, you read the full FAQs. We also invite you to join us for an online information session to get your questions about hosting an event answered. You can join us on either of the two dates:

  • May 27th, 12pm CDT | RSVP

  • June 22nd, 12 pm CDT | RSVP

With safety as a priority, and understanding that we may not still be back to 100% normal from the pandemic, we plan to have both in-person and virtual events this year. So consider how your proposal could be formatted for either or both.

The call for proposals for ADW21 will close on Monday, June 28th at 11:59pm CDT. We cannot wait to hear about the event you are futuring.


+ Why host during Austin Design Week?

Since Austin Design Week’s first event in 2016, the week has been a curation of proposals from YOU, the design community. We know you have expertise to share, work to showcase, and ideas on how to make design, Austin, and the world better. Hosting an event is your chance to be creative and engage Austin designers, community members and visitors in an event led by you!

+ What do we look for?

Austin Design Week's programs are curated by the ADW Advisory Board and Organizing team. Unfortunately, we cannot accept every event, so please keep reading to learn about what we look for when reviewing proposals.

Programming must align with Austin Design Week’s mission and abide by our Code of Conduct. We encourage collaborative events that straddle design disciplines, interactive events that allow attendees to meet other people and get their hands dirty, and high-quality events that offer a fresh perspective.

We love featuring big brands and design studios, but we are also very focused on highlighting small shops and individual contributors. We also want to hear from new voices. Diversity in our lineup is paramount. We ask you to look for co-hosts and co-facilitators with different identities and experiences from you. You shouldn’t worry about being an “expert” but we do ask you to speak to your lived and personal experiences.

Finally, we want to see events that align with our theme: Futuring. This year, we’re exploring the role of design in times of change and the ambiguity that comes with it— discovering together what we can embrace, and how.

All proposals are reviewed and selected by Austin Design Week’s Advisory Board.

+ Event types

We have a variety of event types to choose from, and you can also choose to create your own format. As we foresee the majority of this year’s events as virtual, we encourage your creativity! You can see descriptions of event types and examples from past successful events below.

Get Creative!

First and foremost, we encourage you to get creative. Propose an event in a format that doesn't fit in one of the below categories. It can be an interactive virtual installation, a new form of exploration, or anything else you imagine.

Creative Examples from 2019 & 2020:


Workshops will be scheduled for 1 - 1.5 hours in length. As with all ADW programming, workshops will be free for all attendees. Workshops should be interactive, provide attendees with the opportunity to be hands-on and accessible to the intended audience.

Workshop Examples from 2019 & 2020:

Studio Tours and Open Houses

These can be a simple virtual walkthrough of your studio space or a demonstration of what your creative firm does through interactive experiences. Make it your own.

Studio Tour Examples from 2019:

+ What ADW Provides

  • Event listing on Austin Design Website website

  • Event promotion on all of our channels (social media, blog, emails, etc)

  • Best practices on how to organize an event

  • Best practices and materials to help you promote your event

  • Volunteer staffing for your event to manage registration and check-in.

  • Platform onboarding and training for online events

Note: ADW does not guarantee to fill your event. We will list the event on our site and promote it through our channels, but we encourage you to get the word out as well.

+ What does it cost to participate?

There is a cost associated with hosting an event with Austin Design Week but It is extremely important to us that the hosting fee does not stop anyone from participating. We have a generous scholarship policy and we encourage you to apply for a scholarship if the fee may cause financial hardship.

Cost is as follows:

  • Individual - $75

  • Non-profit/Government - $150

  • Corporate - $300

Once selected to participate, the fee will be due before adding your event to the ADW schedule. If you are requesting a scholarship, you can do so when filling out your application.

*The fee is per event. If you are hosting an event with a group of individuals, you only need to pay the individual fee once. If a company is partnering with another company, you only need to pay the company fee once. If you are a company, partnering with a non-profit, you will need to pay the company fee.

Community partners receive 50% off of the hosting fee. Sponsors' first accepted event is free.

Event fees are put toward expenses to running Austin Design Week. ADW is a completely volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization.

If you are hosting an in-person event, please also factor additional costs you may incur, including:

  • Space: ADW will help you find a donated space for workshops and small events if you do not have one. Please note, these will be the spaces we've been able to secure and are limited. If you have a specific space or need in mind, plan to secure a venue on your own.

  • F&B: If you are planning to have food or alcohol at your event you will need to supply event insurance and have a liquor license. Consider these in your event supply cost.

  • Supplies: If you are hosting a workshop that will need supplies, you will need to bring your own.

  • Permitting or Insurance: Please confirm with your venue what permitting or insurance is required.

+ What is included in the Call for Proposal form?

We want to help you prepare to fill out the proposal form. You cannot save as you go so please have the following information ready when you go to submit:

Event Host Information

  • Event host's name, email, phone number, title, organization

  • On whose behalf are you submitting this proposal? (yourself, a non-profit or government organization, or a company)

  • Any social media handles for the host (individual or organization)

  • Is there an additional point of contact you’d like looped into host communications? You'll need their name, email, phone number, job title, organization


  • Is your event designed to be an in-person or online event?
  • If your event is designed to be in-person, could it be converted to be online if needed*? (*Note: while we plan to host in-person events this year, 2020 taught us we need to be prepared for anything. It also taught us that our audience values virtual programming, so we plan to offer both.)
  • Event Name (Requirements: Title should accurately describe your event. Your organization's name should not be included in the title of the event unless you are hosting a Studio Tour or Open House. Studio Tour titles will be: "Studio/Company Name Studio Tour")
  • What type of event is it? (Workshop, Studio Tour, Talk/Panel, Other)
  • Please select which categories are relevant to your event? (Select all that apply: activism, architecture, art, branding and communications, civic design, diversity equity and inclusion, education, fashion & apparel, graphic design, healthcare, industrial design, interaction design & user experience, interior design, landscape, product design, service design)
  • Short “teaser” Description (30 words max. This will be the preview of the event)
  • Long Description (This is the event description that will be on the public website. Please share as many details as possible. Include takeaways for the audience. 100-200 words)
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Any there any pre-requisites to attend? If so, please list them.

Event location

  • Do you have a venue confirmed where you can host this event?
  • Event location address
  • Do you know what kind of parking or transportation options are available?
  • Do you have permission from all parties to use the space?
  • Is the venue ADA accessible?
  • If you are organizing an online event, ADW will provide the virtual platform. We use a platform that allows for: speaking, breakout rooms, screenshare, and chat. Can your event be produced within these functionalities?


  • How many speakers or facilitators will you have? (We don't recommend more than 5 because of the limited time slot of events)
  • For each speaker, you will be asked to list: the full name, title, organization/company, bio, social media URLs (twitter, instagram, and linkedin)

Preferred Event Date & Time

  • We cannot guarantee your event will be held during the day or time requested, but we will do our best to accommodate. If there are any dates or times you cannot do, please be sure to clarify that below.
  • First and second choice dates
  • First and second choice time slots: Morning (8am - 12pm), Afternoon (12pm - 4pm), Evening (4pm - 8pm)
  • If there are any days or times when you cannot host an event, let us know.

Additional information

  • Why do you think ADW is an important series for the community and what makes you want to get involved by proposing content?
  • How does your event fit with the theme "futuring"?
  • All images should be photos (no created graphics will be accepted). Photos should be sized at 900 x 675 pixels in jpg format. If you aren't sure how to crop your images please send the highest resolution image you have available.
  • If you have any supplemental attachments or notes you can add them here.

(Optional Demographic Information)

Note: all demographic information will be used for aggregate purposes only. It’s important to us that we are serving a diverse group of people and we will use these numbers to measure our progress and continue to improve our outreach to underrepresented groups.

Being a host at ADW

  • A list of what ADW expects and what ADW provides

  • If you need a scholarship for the hosting fee, this is where you will request it

  • If you have any questions about hosting an event, you can ask them here.

  • Acknowledgment of requirements and responsibilities of being an ADW host

+ Timeline and Next Steps

  • Monday, May 17th - Call for Proposals opens

  • Thursday, May 27th - Virtual Information Session (optional)

  • Tuesday, June 22nd - Virtual Information Session (optional)

  • Monday, June 28th, 11:59pm CDT - Call for Proposals closes

  • Week of August 2nd - You will be notified if your event has been selected. You will have a week to confirm and pay your hosting fee.

  • August - If selected, you will work with programming lead will work with you to confirm details of your event

  • September 1st - final deadline to request any changes

  • Early to mid-October - ADW 2021 Schedule goes live

  • November 8-12th - Austin Design Week 2021!

Submit your application