When I first heard about Lake FX, the first thing that popped into my head was, “You’ve got to be kidding me… lake effect snow in April?”
Luckily, I was completely off base. Lake FX, presented by Google, is the Midwest’s largest free conference for artists, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs. The full event is a combination of quite a few things: a summit, expo, marketplace, showcases, and performances. It’s a bit difficult to really find all of the info online, so we’ve put together a guide to help answer all of your questions.
Why Should I Attend?
Basically, this is a great conference for networking, workshops, and (actually) learning things about your craft. If you’re serious about your work and want to take the next step, you’re going to get great perspectives from not only the keynote speakers and presentations (which are impressive enough) but also from the other individuals you’ll meet who share your passion. Let’s face it, in this day and age it’s all about who you know. I’m sure you’ve heard that more times than you can count, but that doesn’t make the cliché any less true.
What Professions Will be Represented?
There are five main tracks to choose from: visual & performing arts, music, fashion, culinary, and film. None of these tickle your fancy? That’s okay too! There’s also a general track that features some innovative discussions as well. Some of the titles include Hot to Win at Youtube, Grow Your Brand Online, the Coolest Business Planning Process Ever, and Buying In: Meaningful Corporate Patronage. If you couldn’t tell from the titles, these are topics that most of us in the business world could use some brushing up on. A good amount of the presentations and workshops are also provided by Google, and hey, there aren’t many better businesses to take advice from.
This Isn’t Some Little Event
Lake FX is expected to bring in thousands of people from a multitude of places, not just Chicago. As I mentioned before, this is the largest conference of its kind in the entire region. Because of this, it can’t all be held in one location, so while it’s based at the Chicago Cultural Center, it also stretches out to the Harris Theater, Virgin Hotels, Hard Rock Hotel, Gene Siskel Film Center, and Macy’s on State.
There are over 100 exhibits to check out in the Expo portion of Lake FX. This is set up like a trade show, meaning you can walk around to specific booths to learn more about each particular participant. Here’s a list of the exhibitors.
For many, this is the fun part! At the marketplace, you can browse the goods of over 60 local artisans. There will be jewelry, art, fashion, and music items available for purchase. Here’s a list of the vendors.
Showcases & Performances
Even if you don’t attend any other portions of Lake FX, the performances and shows are completely free and open to the public. There are orchestras, punk bands, DJs, short films from CIMMFest, and a jazz band to kick it all off.
When is it?
The event takes place from April 16th-19th.