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dmi: 40th Anniversary Design Leadership Conference - FAQ
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Conference FAQ


About the Conference

What is the Design Leadership Conference?

For 40 years, DMI’s Fall “Annual” Conference has gained recognition as the premier design and business event – attracting an international following. The first conference to ever address the business value of design, it’s acquired a stellar reputation for impressive speakers, a senior audience, and a lively atmosphere of sharing and knowledge.

DMI conferences are renown for high-level of content – and for their intimate size, allowing for current and emerging leaders to share and discuss strategic issues.

Who should attend?

Anyone managing Design & Innovation, CX, HCD or who wishes to learn more about these disciplines from speakers and their peer executives, Seasoned Design Managers to CDO’s; Brand Directors, Researchers, CEO’s; Startup founders challenged to design everything from scratch; current and recent graduates ready to contribute.


What do registration fees cover?

Professional registration fees include:
Attendance to the conference and all conference materials
Access to conference video and slide decks after the conference has closed
Access to the conference attendee directory
Light continental breakfast, lunch and coffee service will be provided each full conference day
Monday dinner is not included, unless you register for the Awards Dinner Gala



How to Register

Do I have to be a DMI member to register?

No. The conference is open to everyone. However, DMI members are eligible to receive significant discounts off the registration rates, as well as being able to participate in member-only events, such as the Sunday Charles River Cruise and Member Check-in and Check-Out activities.  Learn more about DMI membership and join here.

How do I register?

If you are a DMI member, or have previously registered for an event, purchased a product on, or are on our mailing list:

  • Go here to start registration
  • Log in with your user name and password.
  • If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it here.
  • If you are new to our site:
    • Please go to “Sign In” on the homepage, and “Click here to join”
    • You’ll be prompted to select your level connection: DMI member or Non-member Guest, and complete a brief profile. This information will be shared on your profile page, as well as the conference rsvp page.
    • Select your conference options: full conference program with or without Awards Gala dinner, select days, etc.
    • Confirm your total and proceed to checkout and payment.
    • If you require an invoice, please contact DMI. However, please be advised that payment is due in full prior to the conference to be admitted. Your name will also not show in the rsvp list until payment is processed.
    • If you encounter any problems, please contact  or phone at 617-338-6380.

Can we get a discount for group registrations?

Yes. We encourage teams and departments to attend our events together. We’re happy to discuss options and rates for five or more people registering from the same company. Contact Patricia Olshan to discuss and see if you qualify.

Can I buy a one-day pass to the conference?

Yes. We value people’s time and budgets, and allow the flexibility to attend. Rates are posted on the registration page here. However, please keep in mind: there is not only significant savings by registering for the full conference, you will also be able to attend member events, as well as connect with all attendees.

You may also just register for the Design Value Awards Gala without the conference here.

Do you offer Educator, Non-Profit and Student rates?

Yes. We have a limited number of available reduced tickets to the conference only. Educators, associates, and students must be involved full-time in their organization or program to qualify. Please contact and submit eligibility credentials to Patricia Olshan.

Can I get a media pass for the conference?

Yes. We have limited number of media passes conference only for those qualified that will be sharing the news with a broader audience. One media pass will be provided per news organization.  Please contact Anne Lyon for more information and to request a media pass.

Do you offer any complimentary registrations?

No. At this time, we are unable to offer complimentary registrations to anyone. This policy is based on our firm commitment to equity and fairness.

What is the cancellation policy?

Until 28 August 2015
We will deduct a $120 administrative charge and refund or credit the remaining fee.

31 August 2015 - 14 September 2015
We will deduct a $120 administrative charge and credit the remaining fee towards a future conference (within a year) or a new (no renewals) full price membership.

15 September 2014 and After
No refunds or credit.

Does my conference registration include the Design Value Awards Gala?

No. The conference, Sunday New Attendee Session and Awards Gala are separate program products. However, you may register for the conference and Gala together or separately here.

For more information about the Gala and registration, visit:



What is member Check-In and Check-Out?

Join new and long-time DMI members in these gatherings to build community. Share personal and professional insights in a supportive and safe environment. This is a great opportunity to get to know your member community! You can become a DMI member now!

What can I expect as a new DMI member and attendee?

Information on this page can answer a lot of questions, but, the DMI community is always available to share their expertise! You will be sent a welcome package shortly that provides you with a roadmap on DMI content and programs, as well as being paired with a DMI Advisor at the conference, who can further guide you and introduce you to others.


Lodging & Transportation

Is there a discounted hotel room rate at the Sonesta Hotel for attendees?

Yes.  September is a very busy time of year in the Boston area.  It is high season for tourists and conferences alike.  We urge you to make hotel arrangements as soon as possible. 

DMI has a discounted room block available for attendees at the Sonesta.  Hotel rates are $289 King room (excludes local and state taxes of 14.45%.)

Individuals should make their own reservations online on this page. Alternatively, guests can use the conference code 1017DMI015, in the group/meeting code section of the reservations page. Guests may also call reservations at 617.806.4200 and reference "Design Management Institute Fall 2015 Conference". Reservations must be received on or before 11:59pm EDT on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 to qualify for the discounted group rate. Reservation requests received after this date will be accepted on a space available basis only and may not qualify for special conference pricing.

What is the dress code?

Business casual for the conference. Don’t forget: hotels and ballrooms can be chilly. Please remember to bring a jacket or sweater.
The Gala is “Creative Formal” - black-tie and bling!

What is the weather like in Boston? 

The end of September can be a lovely, warm, leaf-peeping season OR we could be ice-skating on the Charles River. New England weather is unpredictable, so please be prepared. Bring a raincoat, umbrella and comfortable walking shoes. High/Low temperatures for the month may be found here.
Very few restaurants in Boston/Cambridge require jackets. Find more about dining in the Boston/Cambridge area below.

Accessibility & Meal Accomodations

Is the Sonesta Hotel & conference Venue wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the hotel and all conference venue locations conform to accessibility codes, however the River Cruise on Sunday is not wheelchair accessible.

Do you offer special meals for attendees with food allergies?

Yes. Please contact Patricia Olshan BEFORE September 24 with any special requests.

Dining in the Cambridge/Boston Area

There are dining options in every direction to suit everyone’s taste – from Old-World Italian in the North End to Fusion in Inman Square. A good local resource is


Sightseeing & Shopping in the Cambridge/Boston Area

Below are some suggestions if you have free time to explore. Connect with other conference attendees via Twitter at #DLC15

MIT Museum
MIT Tour
Harvard Museum Tours
Harvard University Tour
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Institute of Contemporary Art Museum
Boston Interior Design Center
Harpoon Beer Brewery Tour
Taza Chocolate Factory Tour
Boston's North End (Italian Neighborhood)
SOWA (South of Washington) Market (Sunday only)




Are Sponsorship Opportunities available?

Yes. With an international base of over 30,000+ leaders in more than 40 countries, reaching the right decision and budget makers is easily achieved. Collaborating with DMI is an investment in global relationships for your brand, team, clients and your future.

A wide variety of promotional opportunities are available to keep your company’s name front and center in the minds of conference attendees, before, during and after their conference experience. Options are listed here, and contact Patricia Olshan to discuss the programs.

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10/7/2018 » 10/9/2018
dmi: Design Leadership Conference

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