7 Black Nerd Events Worth Attending in 2014

Did you tell yourself that this year would be different, and you were going to be a better professional by attending more conferences? Did you have hopes of expanding your professional network, improving your technical skills, or building your brand?

Were you hoping to get out and mingle with like-minded people who enjoy art in its various forms but haven’t had the chance? Are you disappointed in yourself because it’s almost the end of summer and you have not signed up for one conference or gone to one event?

The summer may be coming to a swift close but the year is not over yet. Here are some worthy conferences and events that you can still check out before 2015 rolls around.


1.Chicago Writers Conference

What: The Chicago Writers Conference is a conference for writers and those aspiring to be writers. The two-day conference offers programs and workshops to help attendees improve their writing skills.

When: Oct. 24-26

Where: Chicago, Illinois,

How: The conference supports writers by providing immersive writing courses and workshops that are focused on skill building such as, writing for the stage and screen, and finding your voice. It also features discussions from bestselling authors.


2. NSBE Professional Development Conference

What: The National Society for Black Engineers is hosting its third annual Professional Development Conference. The three-day conference is meant to create a space for professionals to network, improve skills, and engage with leaders in the industry.

When: Oct 2-Oct 5

Where: Phoenix, Arizona

How: Networking and skill building will occur through a variety of ways, and attendees will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentoring through the Executive Mentoring Suite.

There are a series of workshops that cover topics related to increasing success in the field. For example “Networking on the Green”  addresses how to use nontraditional networking skills on and off the golf course.


3. Art Miami

What: An international contemporary and modern artist fair. The fair brings in collection curators, museum professionals, and artists from all over the world. Important artwork from the 20th and 21st centuries will be showcased.

Where: Downtown Miami

When: Dec. 2

How: The fair encompasses seminars, Understanding the Artist: Permanence is Forever, a curator brunch that allows them to mingle and network with other curators around the world, and a variety exhibits.


4. Code(Her) Conference

What: A one-day conference that allows women interested in the tech industry to build a professional network, increase their knowledge of changing trends in the field, learn and improve skills.

When: Sept. 13

Where: Chevy Chase, Md.

How: The Code(Her) conference is unique as it has a series of immersive workshops to help women network and build skills to be competitive in the tech field. The workshops focus on everything from cyber security to branding through social media.


5. The Lean Startup Conference

What: The Lean Startup Conference has been helping entrepreneurs build networks and skills for the past five years. The conference gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who have proven success with their startups.

It allows participants to get the answers to questions such as: How can I get internal services like IT, finance, legal, and HR to act like startups and serve entrepreneurial teams throughout my organization? As well as questions that cover how to get buy-ins from leaders and managers to support entrepreneurial methods.

When: Dec. 8 – 12

Where: San Francisco, California

How: Attendees gain knowledge and support through a series of workshops, sessions, one-on-one meetings, Q&A panels, and group dinners over the course of five days.


6. DC Shorts Film Festival

What: A 10-day festival where the world’s top short films are screened to a wide audience. For this year, over 100 films will be screened from 25 countries. The main purpose of the fair is to create a space for filmmakers and lovers of film to mix and mingle and enjoy great cinematic art.

When: Sept. 11-21

Where: Several locations in Washington, D.C.

How: The film festival helps individuals engage with each other through film screenings, parties, and workshops and competitions.


7. Urban Tech Weekend

What: A two-day conference hosted by the National Black Info Tech Leadership Organization. The goal of the conference is to narrow the diversity gap for Black and Latino-Americans in the technology field.

When: Sept. 25-27

Where: Houston, Texas

How: The conference supports Black and Latino-Americans through networking from various companies. Also available will be  panels with speakers who are leaders in the tech fields, workshops,  and mentorship opportunities.