The a.m. speaker series has expanded to dozens of cities. Now, it aims for thematic unity.
Tina Roth Eisenberg, a graphic designer and proprietor of the popular design blog Swiss Miss, started CreativeMornings, an extremely well-attended design salon in 2008. After attending a number of large graphic design conferences, she had been "dreaming of an event that was more light-weight and accessible. Something that didn't involve giving up your entire day and, most of all, that wouldn't cost a lot of money." Her premise was that most designers attend conferences less for the celebrity show-and-tells and more for the coffee breaks where attendees get to connect with others of their creative ilk. So, Eisenberg decided to produce ongoing events for her growing community of creative Dumbo, Brooklyn neighbors to "inspire them with one talk before work"—and with a lot of coffee and pastry.
CreativeMornings has since grown into 31 chapters, spread over six continents, from Vancouver to Cape Town and Sydney to Singapore. Take that, TED.
The formula, according to Eisenberg, rests on getting good people. "Each chapter is championed by an amazing, local organizer, and we've been so lucky that through our communities and application process, the right people just seem to bubble up." She has never called for organizers, she says: "They all came to us."