FAQ

Do you have questions about getting involved as an Open House host or Event organizer? Download the Participation Kit for the full picture of what’s involved or scan below for quick answers.

  • WHAT ARE THE DATES FOR THE NEXT FESTIVAL?

    Design Week Portland runs April 15-23, 2016. We're introducing a Main Stage, which will kick things off April 15-16. The opening party for the festival will be the evening of April 16, and then the independent Events and Open Houses run April 17-23. Our Headquarters will be on Pioneer Courthouse Square April 18-22.

  • WHAT’S THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE MAIN STAGE AND THE FESTIVAL?

    The Main Stage will be 2 days of centrally produced programming. The festival is the line-up of independent Events and Open Houses.

  • WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EVENT AND AN OPEN HOUSE?

    Events: An Event is original programming that you produce as a coordinator. You determine the specific format but it must add to the collective conversation about design. An Event might be a main stage speaker, a workshop, a screening, an exhibit, an opening, or some other sort of format. It can be a combination of these things. It may be free or you may charge people to attend.

    Open Houses: An Open House is an opportunity to invite the public into your workspace. It is a much simpler commitment than coordinating an Event; it simply requires that you open your doors during the one day and three-hour time period specified for your neighborhood quadrant. We encourage you to do something special, of course. For you, that might mean snacks or a tour of your space. Maybe it’s an opportunity to show off your best work or share your process. Maybe it’s more. Whatever it is, we simply ask that you’re friendly to whomever walks through the door.

  • ARE THERE ANY FEES TO PARTICIPATE?

    Yes. Event listings are $247 and Open House listings are $97. There is a 15% discount for multiple listings applied to your total fees. DWP is a huge organizational effort by a volunteer staff. Fees collected to list and promote your events support the work that we do, and help sustain momentum for years to come.

  • WHAT IF I CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY THE FEE?

    If the listing fee is prohibitive for your participation, you may indicate your need for a subsidy on your application. Each request will be reviewed with two questions in mind: would this Event or Open House be possible without the subsidy, and would it make a positive impact on the festival?

  • MAY I APPLY FOR MORE THAN ONE LISTING?

    Yes!

  • WHEN DOES THE FESTIVAL SCHEDULE LAUNCH?

    February 15. At this point, your complete Event or Open House information goes live and registration opens.

  • WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MY EVENT OR OPEN HOUSE BEFORE I APPLY?

    In the application form, you’ll see that only certain fields for each application are required. We only need the required stuff to consider approving your Event or Open House. We understand that some details will continue to be dialed in as you develop your strategy. You will be able to edit your Event or Open House information as you firm up details. However, you need to have everything solidified by February 1 so that the public sees a polished listing page.

  • WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BE CONSIDERED AN EVENT?

    First and foremost, Design Week Portland is about excellent programming. Do you run — or have you always wanted to create — a happening that is focused on design? Can you schedule it to run between April 17-23? Do you see a gap in the collective conversation about design and have something in mind to close it? Do you have a skill set or amazing work that you’d like to share with the community? If so, we want you.

    From there, it comes down to nuts and bolts. Do you know a place where you can hold your Event? Is that space available on the date you need it? Can you line up the resources needed to execute your vision? Will your event require registration? Is it free? Do you need to find sponsorship? How many people will be helping you? Now relax, you don’t need to know the answer to every single question before you apply, but you should have a pretty clear picture of what it will require to produce.

  • WHAT IS REQUIRED TO HOST AN OPEN HOUSE?

    If you have a space you’d like to open to the public, all it takes is the commitment to welcome people in during the day and time defined for your quadrant. Of course, the more you do to make it amazing, the better! Just keep in mind that people will be coming and going, so you don’t want to do time-sensitive programming during the design crawl, like a workshop or anything that would require registration. If you’re more interested in doing something like that, we’d be happy to consider you as more of an Event in our lineup.

  • CAN I HOST AN OPEN HOUSE AT A DIFFERENT TIME THAN WHAT’S DEFINED FOR MY QUADRANT?

    Unfortunately, no. Or more specifically, it won’t be featured as part of the Design Week Portland schedule. Open Houses are organized by quadrant (N/NE, SE, NW, SW); each during three hours of a single day. Here’s the schedule:

    NORTH/NORTHEAST: Tuesday April 19 4–7pm
    SOUTHEAST: Wednesday April 20 4–7pm
    NORTHWEST: Thursday April 21 4–7pm
    SOUTHWEST: Friday, April 21 4–7pm

  • WHAT IS THE APPROVAL PROCESS LIKE?

    For Events, we will consider whether your programming fits with the mission of Design Week Portland. We will review the landscape of all events happening at the same day and time. For Open Houses, we’re looking for studios, making spaces and retail locations that are design-related.

    If your listing is a fit for the line-up, you'll receive a notice that your Event or Open House has been accepted, pending payment of fees. Once you pay your fee, we will include your listing in our schedule.

  • WHEN WILL THE DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND SCHEDULE LAUNCH FOR THE PUBLIC TO SEE MY EVENT OR OPEN HOUSE?

    February 15, 2016.

  • WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT WILL I GET FROM DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND?

    Design Week Portland is a platform for inspiring and promoting independently-produced Events. Your Events. That means you coordinate and produce something amazing, and we point the public to it. Our role is to shine a light on the groundswell of design that’s happening in Portland and to raise awareness about what our design community—designers of every discipline—is doing.

    Here's what we do on our end:

    Every Event and Open House is given a dedicated page on our website. For their listings, partners can upload a detailed description of their event, venue address and map, image, dates, times, link, and organization information. Listing content can be edited at any point.

    Each month, we send out an email bulletin to over 4,000 subscribers with information about forthcoming design events from our partners. In the lead-in to the festival, these newsletters become daily and feature a selection of partner Events and Open Houses. We mention partners across our social media platforms – Twitter (6k+ followers), Tumblr (5k+ followers), Facebook (1,500+ likes), Instagram (1,500+ followers).

    Throughout the year, a dedicated member of the Design Week Portland team is available to answer any questions and give advice to all partners.

    Our public relations efforts buoy all Events and Open Houses and often feature specific listings.

    The festival holds two partner workshops in February and April, focusing on production and promotion. These are free to attend.

    Partners receive programs, posters, and other pieces ahead of the festival. A Design Week Portland sign is delivered to event partners the day of their event and picked up after the event wraps.

  • CAN I USE MY OWN PLATFORM FOR REGISTRATION?

    In the past, we accepted URLs for any kind of event registration. The problem with that was that we couldn't get any visibility into the audience for the festival, a critical piece of data to understand our impact and help us get support. This year, we're going to be centralizing the registration process. Once your event is accepted, registration for your event will be set up by Design Week Portland and your team will be empowered to administer ticketing. We cannot accept events doing ticketing on their own platform.

  • HOW MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY SHOW UP TO AN EVENT ONCE THEY'VE REGISTERED?

    For paid events, you can expect about an 80–85% show rate. With free events, you can expect a 60–65% show rate. Release tickets accordingly. Reserve some tickets for VIPs and press.

  • HOW CAN I PROMOTE MY EVENT AND DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND?

    Once you’re approved, we encourage you to use your network to get the word out! If you have a newsletter or a social media presence, those are perfect ways to let your audience know that you’re taking part in the festival. If you have a website, adding this badge is a great way to show that you’re involved.

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