Interested in becoming a host at the festival?
We are not yet open for event submissions. Please sign up to the mailing list to get an alert when we make the submission page live in June.
who normally is part of the festival programme?
Most of the big service design agencies in London are part of the festival programme. We welcome independent practitioners, service design organisations of any size and teams that are practicing service design within larger organisations too.
Is it only service designers that can be part of the festival?
No. The borders of service design are flexible. The definition of 'service designer' is in flux. We welcome those with a background in UX, behavioural insights, systems thinking, anthropology, design research, and anyone else, including service design clients. As long as you feel that you are part of a service design process and have something valuable to share on this platform, we'd be delighted to receive a submission from you to be part of the festival programme.
what are the benefits of getting involved in the festival?
If you would like to show off your team’s innovative work, and demonstrate thought leadership, the Service Design Fringe Festival is the best place to do it. Apart from driving business opportunities and making contacts through sharing your success stories, this is a chance to come together to change culture; we can help more non-designers start to understand what we do.
What is the process of putting on an event at the festival?
Roughly (and we plan to make a diagram of this!): make a submission from June; refining the idea in partnership with the festival team if accepted; submit comms details; promo time; run the event; event write up; feedback.
In order to ensure a variety of events in the programme, we require organisations that haven't been involved with the festival before to come to a Be Part Of It! event. These are informal pitches and networking evenings; we ask you to introduce yourself and throw out an early idea or several about what you might like to do at the festival, in front of others like you. This way, we can collectively discover synergies between speakers and hosts in order to form meaty panels. We can also ensure that similar-sounding event ideas that want to stay separate can both develop to be more different.
There's a distinct feeling of being part of a community with the festival. We expect hosts to support the festival in return for the support we provide; what we need from hosts and speakers is clearly communicated to those with successful submissions.
why be part of the festival rather than just putting on an event independently?
The festival team support a co-ordinated effort across the service design community to grab London's attention. We produce and distribute maps and we invite our network - and each host invites theirs - to all of the festival events. People are more likely to attend an event by a group they haven't heard of if it's part of something bigger. We curate the programme to showcase a divergent range of work - we help ensure that each organisation is showing something different to the others. And sometimes we are able to help you put on your event through connecting you to extra resource.
how much does it cost to be a host?
The Service Design Fringe Festival is free for all to attend. We keep it that way so that anyone has the opportunity to join the greater Service Design / Design community and both learn from and contribute to the discussion. We love that it is free and have no plans to change this - hurrah!
As such, we have to rely on sponsorship for the festival to be able to go ahead; both in-kind sponsorship (e.g. volunteers and event space) and financial sponsorship. We really appreciate that, through this approach, we have been able to run the festival for three consecutive years prior to this year.
For larger companies to be involved particularly, we have to ask that we start up a discussion around sponsorship and support to play a significant part in the festival. We are a community of people who work on a reciprocal arrangement. We would like to keep it free for independent service design practitioners to run innovative workshops and other events; this will ensure a balanced programme so that it's not only big companies that are involved.