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CROP

Local design conference continues to grow and thrive

After two sold out events and a successful pop-up, Crop is back and ready to inspire again in 2018.

The annual graphic design conference will enjoy its 2018 event from April 5-6—an event which will feature an exciting lineup of workshops and speakers sure to inspire any aspiring creative or designer in Louisiana.

The event is the only one of its kind in Baton Rouge.

Creator and event organizer Matt Dawson said Crop continues to grow bigger and bigger—showing what many already suspected: the people of Louisiana are among the most creative people in the world.

“You know, it’s important to get out and do things that are out of your comfort zone,” Dawson said. “Expanding your inspiration and creative community beyond your day job is a much-needed resource that we often don’t take advantage of. This is a chance to be in a fun and focused environment for two-or-three days with your contemporaries, some of the biggest creatives in the country, new friends, people you can learn from and people who might even learn from you.”

The idea for Crop started as a sign that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Dawson said he thought to create the conference after speaking at an in-house creative conference for Lamar advertising.

After soaking in the experience at Lamar, a light bulb went off in his head and he decided that the people in Baton Rouge would perhaps enjoy something similar—on a broader, larger scale.

“It seemed like perfect timing as the creative scene in Baton Rouge was really burgeoning and there wasn’t a resource in the region quite like what we do with Crop,” Dawson said.

So what exactly does Crop do?

Well, for one, it brings some of the most creative people in the world to the same place for conversation, inspiration, creative thinking, fun and more.

“We book our keynote speakers sometimes a year in advance,” Dawson said. “We usually have a ‘dream team’ lineup that we feel would bring the most value to our attendees through their stories, lives, work examples and experiences.”

This year’s list is absolutely loaded, featuring keynote speakers James Victore, Danielle Evans, Young Jerks, Howard Hall, Phoebe Cornog & Roxy Prima, Lenny Terenzi and more. The event will also feature workshops presented by Kathryn Hunter, Jason Craig, Forefathers Group, Pandr Creative and others.

Crop is held at the Shaw Center for the Arts in beautiful Downtown Baton Rouge and each keynote is held in the Manship Theatre.

Since starting, Dawson said Crop has consistently grown and evolved. The event has trended on Twitter, been featured on podcasts and has been adopted and accepted by the creative community in Louisiana and beyond.

Since its inception, Crop has also evolved and hosted PopUp Crop, which is a one-day event with workshops, keynotes, vendors and a wrap party in a different city each fall. The first PopUp Crop was this past November in Austin, Texas.

Dawson said continually evolving is something Crop intends to do and he believes that this year’s event will be a great step forward for the future. But while growing, Crop also doesn’t want to lose its quality and personal touch.

“I feel like growing our brand in more unique ways is more important than touting big numbers,” Dawson said. “Our conference is truly a personal experience for our attendees. We’ve watched small conferences lose focus and grow into just another 1,000-plus-crowd same old story. That’s not something we’re looking to do.”

Photos courtesy of CROP, by Jordan Hefler and Samuel Gasc

Casey Gisclair

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