Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

Web Directions Events in 2018

We started out with a single event, Web Directions, back in 2006. Over the intervening 12 years, we’ve branched out to different countries at times (and who knows maybe will again!) and added more focussed singe track events like Code in 2012 to our major event (now Web Directions Summit).

We’ve experimented with taking events to multiple cities in a short time frame (the lesson we learned was this was really exhausting for all concerned), created “popup” events (some of which go on to becoming annual events, others remain one off), and continued to look to evolve our events, and their content as our industry continues to evolve.

We’ve now finalised our 2018 program, a mixture of our trusted, long running conferences, including Code and Summit, with some new events as well. Read on for more on each event, or if you can’t wait and want to see what’s planned, head right on over to our events page.

the year at a glance

At a glance, there are three ‘tent post’ events. Design in Melbourne in April, Code in Melbourne in August and Summit in Sydney in November.

Along side each these are related events–Design Leaders, Code Leaders, AI and Culture.

Respond becomes Design

The biggest change is the retirement of our Respond conference. But don’t be too despondent, as it is really transforming into something even more relevant and valuable. Respond began life as a one day “popup” event in 2014, with a Web design focus–partly on technology, above all CSS, and partly on the design challenges of an increasingly multi-screen world. Over the following years, it became increasingly a broadly design focussed event, though its name continued to suggest topics closer to its original focus.

Now after a lot of thought and many conversations with attendees of our events and folks we know in the industry, we’ve come to conclude that increasingly the division between the content at Code and that at Respond, particularly the technical content, is artificial. Not that many years ago, developers who worked with JavaScript were a subset of front end developers. This separation is increasingly rare.

And so from 2018, all of the technical, front-end content, from CSS to HTML to JavaScript, will live at Code (and in the engineering track at our end of year Summit). If you work on the front end with any of these technologies these events are for you.

But where does that leave Respond?

Well, right from the beginning, and increasingly over its lifespan, Respond had a strong design focus. Last year over two thirds of the content was what you might broadly describe as design.

So just as Code started life by us taking the developer focussed aspects of our end of year Sydney event and creating a new dedicated developer event, Respond will become Design, a single track event focussing on the challenges of designing great digital products and services.

From user research to Interaction Design, Product Design to CX, we’ve created Design as the place for design professionals to gather, learn and connect. We’re already lining up an incredible set of speakers (we can’t wait to start announcing them in early February). So mark April 12 and 13 in Melbourne in your diaries.

And, Design Leaders

In a similar vein to our Code Leaders event, we’re also running Design Leaders in Melbourne the day before Design. As design moves from nice-to-have to being increasingly appreciated as having key strategic value for companies and organisations, design teams are growing, often rapidly, and design professionals are playing increasingly important leadership roles.
Design leaders is created for experienced design professionals in, or moving into these management and leadership roles.

The sell out Code returns

Code, running since 2012 in Melbourne, returns after selling out weeks in advance in 2017. It’s of course again in Melbourne, August 2 and 3, at its long running home, the Arts Centre. If you work on the front end, then this is the event for you. We suggest starting to plan now, as last year a lot of people were disappointed to miss out.

Alongside Code we’re running Code Leaders once again. This one day event we started last year is tailored to more senior engineering professionals, and the particular challenges they face. Last year the content was more technical, but for this year, based on attendee’s feedback, there’ll be more of a focus on leadership, management and culture. Code Leaders takes place on August 1st.

Web Directions Summit

After experimenting with a single track format in 2016, we returned to the long established, much loved two track format with Web Directions Summit in Sydney in November. And that’s how it will stay, with a track focussed on design, and a track focussed on development and engineering, alongside keynotes from highly engaging deep thinkers.

Web Directions Summit 2018 takes place on November 8 & 9 in Sydney. It’s our keystone event, and we’re already lining up incredible speakers.


Last year we ran our first Culture event. Building on the success of and interest in Code Leaders, Culture focusses on the challenges of building great teams and organisational cultures that are diverse, inclusive and high performing. Culture returns in 2018 the day before Summit, and is created for design and engineering leaders, as well as HR and Culture professionals.


New in 2017, one of our ‘popup’ events, AI sold out and generated a lot of great responses.

In 2017 we’ll again hold AI, this year running on the day before Summit, November 7, in Sydney. Whether your focus is design, engineering or decision making, AI provides you with a better capacity to incorporate machine learning and AI technology into your current products and services, as well as new products and services you may be working on.

Register now and save

We currently have great super early bird specials for all of our 2018 events–get a Gold ticket (conference, conference videos and speaker dinner) for just $999 for any of our main conferences.

Where did Transform go?

You may notice that our Transform event, which we’ve run the last couple of years is no longer part of our lineup. Both editions of Transform have been successful, but we’ve found the challenge of such a small team running so many events simply too depleting. A lot of the content we covered in Transform, which focussed on government digital transformation, is covered at other events of ours, and we’ve long had a strong contingent of government attendees at all our events.

Here’s to a great 2018

All the best for 2018. We’re looking forward to an amazing year of conferences, and other events so start planning now, and we look forward to seeing you.

We make events for the web professionals shaping Australia's digital future

Learn more about us

I have yet to have an end-to-end conference experience that was as professional as what was provided by Web Directions

Joe Toscano Founder, designgood.tech

Join us in 2019:

  • Web Directions Design 2019

    Australia's design conference with the world's leading expert

    Melbourne April 11 & 12 2019

  • Web Directions Code 2019

    Australia's conference for JavaScript and Front End Engineers

    Melbourne June 20 & 21 2019

  • Web Directions Product 2019

    Australia's conference for Product professionals

    Melbourne August 1 & 2 2019

  • Web Directions Summit 2019

    Our legendary event. Two big tracks, one Product/Design, one Developer focused.

    Sydney November 2019