Lacking of Diversity at AEA

A few weeks ago after failing to search for upcoming design or typography conferences in the DC metro area, I asked Twitter for help. An Event Apart was recommended and I already knew about AEA in DC, but I was not planning on attending.

I went to AEA once about five years ago and I have tremendous respect for the organizers, but it has not changed much except the price. The three-day pass is $1,500. Although my work would cover the cost, it is still expensive. While most of my colleagues attended conferences cost around $500, here I am requesting a conference for triple the price.

My primary reason for not wanting to attend is the lack of new and diverse speakers. AEA has done a great job of adding many women speakers to the roster, but the line up for DC as of today is lacking minority representation. Furthermore, most of the speakers are within a small circle. They are fantastic, but I would love to see different voices.