With hundreds of design fairs, conferences and trade shows taking place around the world every year, it can be hard to choose which to attend. To help you out, we've compiled a definitive guide to over 50 of the best events of 2018 for your calendar.more
Tuesday 9 – Sunday 12 January, Las Vegas, US
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas kicks off the year, showcasing new technologies and products from the world's biggest tech brands.
Monday 15 – Sunday 21 January, Cologne, Germany
The first interiors trade fair of the year features products by more than 1,100 suppliers from 50 countries. Regular highlights include Das Haus – a vision of future living, which this year is being designed by art director Lucie Koldova.
Toronto Design Offsite
Monday 15 – Sunday 21 January, Toronto, Canada
Toronto Design Offsite returns for an eighth year, bringing a host of designers and artists to the Canadian city, and turning it into a "hub for creativity". Highlights this year are set to include an installation from designer Jordan Soderberg Mills, who uses mirrors and light to create hypnotic illusions.
Interior Design Show Toronto
Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 January, Toronto, Canada
New and established designers exhibit and give talks at this Toronto design fair, where design studio Yabu Pushelberg is this year's guest of honour.
Friday 19 – Tuesday 23 January, Paris, France
Cecilie Manz is Designer of the Year for Maison&Objet's January 2018 edition, which features products for all design sectors, from brands such as Menu (pictured), Petite Friture and Pulpo. These are displayed across eight exhibition halls at Nord Villepinte, outside Paris.
Wednesday 24 – Thursday 25 January, London, UK
The two-day Architect@Work trade fair in London is aimed at architects, designers and specifiers. This year it will focus on the theme of light, with highlights include a talk on workplace wellness with Arup, AHMM and Hassell.
Stockholm Design Week
Monday 5 – Sunday 11 February, Stockholm, Sweden
A big highlight on the design calendar, Stockholm's annual design week consists of events and installations all across the city, as well as a furniture and lighting fair (see below).
Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair
Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 February, Stockholm, Sweden
Over 700 exhibitors will showcase at this year's event, including Swedish design classics and rising young designers. Regular fixtures include brands such as Blå Station and Fogia, and designers including Note Design Studio (pictured) and Claesson Koivisto Rune.
Thursday 8 – Sunday 11 February, St Moritz, Switzerland
The inaugural Nomad fair showcased collectible design in Karl Lagerfeld's luxurious former villa in Monaco, but this year the event is also taking place in Switzerland. The event is organised by by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte, an architect and the director of Carwan Gallery in Beirut, and Giorgio Pace, an art and luxury brand specialist.
Thursday 15 – Sunday 25 February, California, US
Held every year in Palm Springs, Modernism Week is a celebration of the impressive midcentury architecture and design in the area.
Arctic Design Week
Monday 19 – Sunday 25 February, Lapland, Finland
This year's Arctic Design Week, taking place in Lapland, will include a conference programme named "out-of-the-box" – focusing on future design and how to break boundaries that can limit the creative process.
Wednesday 21 – Saturday 24 February, Cape Town, South Africa
This annual conference in Cape Town draws both renowned international designers and newcomers to showcase the best of global and African creative industries
Geneva Motor Show
Saturday 3rd – Sunday 18th March, Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Motor Show brings together the world's biggest car companies to present new concepts and models. Last year saw Goodyear launch a spherical tyre and Land Rover unveil a drone-equipped Discovery for search-and-rescue operations.
Singapore Design Week
Monday 5 – Sunday 18 March, Singapore
Returning for its fifth year, this year's event will take place at the new National Design Centre, and feature trade shows, conferences, showcases, exhibitions and workshops.
Friday 9 – Sunday 11 March, New York, US
The Collective Design fair presents 20th and 21st-century design. This year it takes place in March – earlier than usual – to coincide with New York's art event, the Armory Show.
Friday 9 – Sunday 18 March, Texas, US
SXSW, short for South by Southwest, is a programme of technology-focused conferences and festivals that take place across Austin, Texas.
Wednesday 14 - Saturday 17 March, Shanghai, China
The fair will see over 400 design brands and galleries from over 30 countries showcasing their latest work.
Melbourne Design Week
Thursday 15 – Sunday 25 March, Melbourne, Australia
Created to highlight the best design in Australia, this series of events includes a cross-disciplinary conference, business presentations and educational programmes.
Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 March, Reykjavík, Iceland
Icelandic designers open their Reykjavík studios and host workshops for the public over four days. Last year's highlights included a takeover of Iceland's oldest porcelain factory (pictured).
Boston Design Week
Wednesday 4 – Sunday 15 April, Boston, US
This 12-day citywide event aims to increase public awareness of the important role design plays in everyday life.
Milan Design Week
Monday 16 – Sunday 22 April, Milan, Italy
Milan's design week is the biggest annual get-together in the design calendar. The main event is the Salone del Mobile furniture fair, but there are also design districts all over the city, from Brera to Tortona. Last year's talking points included the rise of millennial pink (pictured) and a bubble-blowing tree by COS.
Design Month Graz
Saturday 5 May – Sunday 3 June, Graz, Austria
Exhibitions and workshops pop-up all over Graz for this city-wide festival, which this year focuses on tolerance in design.
Friday 11 – Wednesday 23 May, New York, US
This festival showcases design of all disciplines in all five of New York City's boroughs, with fairs including ICFF, WantedDesign, Brooklyn Designs, and a host of talks, installations and showroom events in designated districts. Last year saw Philippe Malouin showcase experimental room dividers (pictured) and Avenue Road unveil a luxurious apartment-style showroom.
Romanian Design Week
Friday 18 – Sunday 27 May, Bucharest, Romania
Fashion, graphics and craft design all feature in this showcase of Romanian creativity, which will be in its sixth edition this year.
Sunday 20 – Wednesday 23 May, New York, US
The annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair takes place over four days at Manhattan's Javits Centre, coinciding with NYCxDesign (see above).
Clerkenwell Design Week
Tuesday 22 – Thursday 24 May, London, UK
The London district with the greatest concentration of furniture showroom and architecture and design studios hosts its own design week every May. Exhibitions and parties take place in old Victorian buildings, while installations are created in the streets.
Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 May, Mexico City, Mexico
Habitat Expo is an exhibition of architecture, interiors and design in Mexico City, featuring a conference programme about Mexico's interior design industry.
Venice Architecture Biennale
Saturday 26 May – November 25 (preview 24 and 25 May), Venice, Italy
The 16th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale will this year be curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, founders of Dublin-based Grafton Architects. Caruso St John Architects have been selected to curate the British Pavilion, with a proposal that will "engage with current political themes".
Atlanta Design Festival
Saturday 26 May – Sunday 3 June 2018
Organised by MA! Design is Human, the 12th edition of the festival in the US state of Georgia's capital will include a series of architecture tours and activities around the city. The annual Design Economy Expo is also set to coincide.
London Festival of Architecture
Friday 1 – Saturday 30 June, London, UK
This month-long, city-wide celebration of architectural experimentation and practice takes Identity as its central theme for 2018. Last year's highlights included a summer pavilion by emerging studio IF_DO (pictured), which hosted a variety of community-focused events.
Birmingham Design Festival
Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 June, Birmingham, UK
The first Birmingham Design Festival will take place this summer, bringing a series of workshops, talks, exhibitions, demonstrations and screenings to various venues across the UK city.
Barcelona Design Week
Tuesday 5 – Thursday 14 June, Barcelona, Spain
Conferences, exhibitions, business meetings and networking sessions take place in the Catalonian capital for this week-long event.
San Francisco Design Week
Thursday 7 – Friday 15 June, San Francisco, USA
A future-focussed programme centred around San Francisco's ties to tech companies guides this citywide festival, including events series about designing for crytpocurrency, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
Monday 11 – Wednesday 13 June, Chicago, USA
NeoCon is North America's most important design exposition and conference for commercial interiors.
Design Miami /Basel
Tuesday 12 – Sunday 17 June, Basel, Switzerland
Design Miami's partner event takes place at the Messe Basel exhibition hall, which was extended by architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron in 2013.
Medellin Design Week
Wednesday 20 – Sunday 24 June, Medellin, Colombia
This year's Medellin Design Week will follow the theme "the future is uncertain". It will see designers and architects respond during exhibitions, talks and events taking place all over the Colombian city.
Thursday 21 – Saturday 23 June, New York, US
This three-day programme of conferences and networking events takes place in a different US city every year. New York plays host in 2018.
New Designers Part I
Wednesday 27 – Saturday 30 June, London, UK
The graduate exhibition returns to London for 2018, with the first part including textiles and fashion, costume design, and jewellery and metalwork from students all over the UK.
New Designers Part II
Wednesday 4 – Saturday 7 July, London, UK
Architecture, interiors, furniture and product design, plus graphics and illustration, feature in the second phase of the graduate exhibition. Schools to look out for include University of Edinburgh (pictured) Kingston University and Loughborough University.
Thursday 19 – Sunday 22 July, Melbourne, Australia
Furniture from Australia and New Zealand is on show at this trade-only event taking place this year at Melbourne's Exhibition Centre, as part of Decor + Design.
São Paulo Design Weekend
Wednesday 29 August – Sunday 2 September, São Paulo, Brazil
The only major event taking place in August, São Paulo Design Weekend is a celebration of Latin American design. It includes hundreds of independent events, from trade fairs to cocktail parties.
London Design Biennale
Tuesday 4 – Sunday 23 September, London, UK
The 2018 London Design Biennale will be devoted to the theme Emotional States, and will see international designers respond with installations spread across London's Somerset House.
Helsinki Design Week
Thursday 6 – Sunday 16 September, Helsinki, Finland
The range of events organised for the Finnish festival includes exhibitions, fashion shows, talks and workshops, along with a growing number of satellite events. Last year's highlights included a self-sufficient prefab house and furniture for victims of displacement.
Paris Design Week
Friday 7 – Saturday 15 September, Paris, France
Paris Design Week encompasses 2018's second instalment of out-of-town trade fair Maison & Objet, plus open studios and design shows around the city centre, with work by students, graduates and upcoming designers.
Tuesday 11 – Friday 14 September, Shanghai, China
China's international furniture expo returns to Shanghai with contemporary and traditional designs.
London Design Festival
Saturday 15 – Sunday 23 September, London, UK
London Design Festival, or LDF for short, takes place all over the UK capital. It includes installations at the V&A, like last year's Reflection Room (pictured), as well as a series of design shows, including London Design Fair and 100% Design.
Feria Habitat Valencia
Tuesday 18 – Friday 21 September, Valencia, Spain
The Spanish household design and decoration trade fair hosts 600 exhibitors, focusing on products made in Spain.
Istanbul Design Biennial
22 September to 4 November, Istanbul, Turkey
The fourth edition of one the most though-provoking biennales in the design calendar is being curated by Belgian design critic and teacher Jan Boelen, and will focus on how design education can change in the age of information.
Vienna Design Week
Friday 28 September – Sunday 7 October, Vienna, Austria
This programme of events encompasses all areas of Viennese design, and includes exhibitions and site-specific installations around the Austrian city.
Modesto International Architecture Festival
Date TBC, Modesto, US
Modern architecture and exhibitions in this Californian city will be available to explore on guided or self-guided tours.
Beijing Design Week
Date TBC, Beijing, China
Exhibitions and installations are created in Beijing's hutongs, industrial warehouses and artists' communities for China's most important design event.
Thursday 18 – Monday 22 October, Kortrijk, Belgium
Contemporary design is the focus of this exhibition in Kortrijk, where accolades are presented to Designer of the Year and Interieur awards winners.
Dutch Design Week
Saturday 20 – Sunday 28 October, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Young and upcoming Netherlands-based designers present conceptual and experimental design across the city at this firm favourite on the design week schedule. The show also includes the Design Academy Eindhoven graduate show, where highlights last year included a vision for the future of plastic (pictured) and leather made from cow stomachs.
Tuesday 23 – Sunday 27 October, Cologne, Germany
This Cologne trade fair focuses on furniture, lighting, flooring, acoustics and media technology for workspaces, plus industry experts look at trends and best practice in the Trend Forum panel discussions.
Mid-October, Tokyo, Japan
Following its launch last year, Designart will return in 2018, bringing a number of exhibitions and talks to Tokyo with the aim of revitalising the city's creative scene.
Dubai Design Week
Monday 12 – Saturday 17 November, Dubai, UAE
International designers present furniture, lighting, textiles and technology to markets in the Middle East and North Africa. The show always includes a temporary pavilion, which last year was made from repurposed bedsprings (pictured).
World Architecture Festival
Wednesday 28 – Friday 30 November, Amsterdam, Netherlands
This three-day event moves to Amsterdam in 2018. The programme centres around the awards, which are decided following a series of open crits, and culminates in a gala dinner where the coveted World Building of the Year prize is announced. There is also an impressive programme of talks.
Wednesday 28 – Friday 30 November, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Taking place alongside the World Architecture Festival, Inside celebrates the year's best interior design projects.
ICFF South Florida
Tuesday 4 – Thursday 6 December, Fort Lauderdale, US
The South Florida edition of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair will take place at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Centre.
Tuesday 4 – Friday 9 December, Miami, US
Design Miami brings together gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world to celebrate and promote collectible design. Each year also sees installations created by leading designers, including the likes of the Bouroullec brothers (pictured) and Studio Swine – who both created experiences for last year's event.
Illustration by Jack Bedford.