Hosting FAQ: Call for Proposals 2022

San Francisco Design Week (SFDW) is the largest design festival in the Bay Area which spans Silicon Valley, the city of San Francisco, Oakland + East Bay, Marin and beyond. Each year the festival brings together over 50,000 designers, trade professionals, non-profits, entrepreneurs and business leaders for a week-long series of events, lectures, panel discussions, and studio visits.

About SFDW

What are the dates of San Francisco Design Week 202?

SFDW will take place Tuesday, June 21 - Saturday, June 25th, 2022
SFDW Official Party will take place Thursday, June 23rd

What is the goal of SFDW?

Our goal is to raise public awareness of the impact that design has on innovation and explore the emerging disciplines driving design in San Francisco and around the world. Each year we create a public forum where citizens and designers can engage in a discussion about design and its role in our ever-evolving world.

Who organizes SFDW?

SFDW is organized by Design Bay Area with support from AIGA San Francisco, the professional association for design in partnership with IDSA, the Center for Architecture and AIA, SFFAMA, SEGD, SDN, IXDA, local consulates, design universities, neighborhood associations and museums.

Who gets involved?

SFDW represents a a diverse and vibrant industry across many design disciplines. Each year the list of participants grows to include more design studios, brands, in-house design teams, galleries and art organizations, local retail and restaurants.

What type of events take place?

The annual festival program contains in person and virtual events including workshops, exhibition, panels, and open studios. This years’ festival will host a closing party Thursday, June 23rd

I’m not a designer, but I want to involve my business or organization. Is there a way for me to do that?

ABSOLUTELY, Consider submitting your business or organization to our Design Site Page or Design Resource Directory.

>> Design Site Page
>> Design Resource Directory

Event Types

For our 2022 Festival we have two options: (If you would like to host a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual formats, please add that note into your application. SFDW will reach out to confirm details.)

  • Community Event In Person
  • Community Event Virtual
  • Community Event Virtual Pre-recorded with Live Q+A
  • Community Event Virtual Pre-recorded On-Demand (no live Q+A)

What is the deadline to apply to host?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2022

Host your own Community Event In Person or Virtual

Hosting an event is an opportunity for you to create your own original programming which can include, but is not limited to, a workshop, panel discussion, or a speaker. The most well-attended events tend to engage a topic that provides valuable takeaways or includes well-known speakers.

Virtual Events will be hosted on different platforms depending on your event’s needs. SFDW will determine which platform to use and our team will offer basic training so your event runs smoothly.

Types of Events we accept:

  • In Person Events Panel discussions, Conversations/Fireside Chats, Presentations, Workshops, Brand Activations, Product Launches, Open Studio Tours, or Networking/Happy Hour. Hosts have the option to record their event for SFDW On - Demand Catalog
  • Virtual Events Panel discussions, Conversations/Fireside Chats or presentations, Workshops, Internationally Produced Events, Podcasts (accepted, if created for SF Design Week). Replay of virtual event will be available.

Replay of Virtual Events

Replay will be available to watch within 72 hours after the event is over on the SFDW platform for 30 days . Some virtual events like workshops will not be available for reply or on-demand for attendees and a recording may not be generated for your records.

San Francisco Design Week makes no guarantee online events will be recorded. Sometimes tech fails, and things happen so our team might not be able to record a video for you. Video recordings are not guaranteed or included in application fees.

Apply to Host an Event

What is the deadline to apply to host?

Wednesday, May 20th, 2022

What dates can I host an event?

Events can be held the following:
Tuesday, June 21st - Morning, afternoon, evening (8:00 am - 9:00 pm)
Wednesday, June 22nd - Morning, afternoon, evening (8:00 am - 9:00 pm)
Thursday, June 23rd - Morning, afternoon  (8:00 am - 3:00 PM)
Friday, June 24th - Morning, afternoon and evening (8:00 am - 9:00 PM)
Saturday, June 25th - In person events only

Can I apply to host more than one event?

Absolutely! Think carefully in regards to how much extra time and resources will be needed to produce an event and whether you’re shooting for quality over quantity. Fees are discounted for those who host 3 or more events. Please submit a new application for each event you plan to host and our team will refund the difference or contact us before applying.

If you plan to host multiple events, please contact us at before applying.

What information do I need to start my application?

Make sure that you have everything you need before you fill out the submission form. We ask that you only submit complete events as the information will be used to populate your final event listing. Changes to your listing after submission may incur an Editing Fee

What if I still have details to work out before finishing the application by the application deadline?

The May 20th deadline is crucial to giving our team enough time to finalize event details with hosts, create event ticketing pages and properly promote events, as well as give attendees enough time to sign up and plan their week. If you’re struggling to finalize your event, email us as soon as possible at

I have a very specific preferred date & time, but I haven’t finalized my event details. Should I submit an application anyway?

Partially submitted events will not be accepted. Please only submit complete events.

Event Title

Events with a clear, direct focus tend to be the most successful as attendees can immediately tell what they are on the event calendar. Long titles will get cut off on the SFDW site, so avoid being too descriptive.

Event Description

Like your event title, your event description should make it clear what attendees will expereince at your event, and what they'll get out of attending. Don't Bury the Lead and make sure attendees know what your event is about in the first 2 sentences.

Event Image

Keep it simple. No text and no logos, and we really mean it. If you're event topis is interior design, use an image of a great interior. If your event is a bit more abstract, simple colors and patterns can work really well. Remember, SFDW is for designers, so a strong, well-designed image is important.

Preferred Dates &Times

Each year SFDW is made up of hundreds of events throughout the week. We do our best to give event hosts their preffered date and time, but sometimes we have to make adjustments basd on the overall curation of the week.

A few things to keep in mind when thinking about your preferred event dates and times:

  • Wednesday + Thursday are always the most busy
  • If you’re worried about competing with a ton of events, than consider avoiding Wednesday and Thursday evening. You can also host an event earlier in the evening so that attendees can attend multiple events by stacking them. For example, if you host an event at 4:30 pm and end at 6 pm, attendees can make it to events that begin at 6:30 pm and 7 pm.
  • Mornings are underutilized and a  great way to stand out from the evening events, and can be as simple as hosting coffee with your design team. We also welcome more structured events earlier in the day such as workshops and lectures.
  • We recommend that you submit a few dates and times so that we can make sure you’re event isn’t scheduled against another event of a similar nature. Ultimately, we’ll always try to give you your top choice.

Length of Event

We recommend creating a sample schedule to determine the length of your event. For example, if you’re holding a panel discussion, consider both the check-in process, as well as discussion afterward and factor both into the total length of time of your event. If you want to go the extra mile, include the schedule in your event description.

  • For virtually hosted events, keep in mind screen fatigue. Limit virtual events to one hour unless it is a workshop.


Can I apply to host an event if my venue isn't confirmed yet?

We ask that you only apply once your venue has been confirmed. If you are struggling to find a venue, please contact us at

What if I can provide a venue, but I don't plan to host an event?

If you are offering your venue as a resource, please reach out to us at The events team can make the introduction if a host has an event, but no venue. SFDW is not responsible for negotiating terms between a potential host and a venue.


Please indicate the actual number of attendees you can host.

Application Fees

Host a Community Event prices are as followed.

  • Non profit: $225
  • For Profit: $369

Waiver: Submit an application fee waiver form

Why do I have to pay a fee and what does it cover?

As a a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we rely on registration fees, sponsorship, donations and the goodness of others to produce SFDW. The fees allow us to hire an administrative team, PR, and additional support as needed. Thank you for your support!

I want to support SFDW as an official Sponsor. How do I do that?

If you’re interested in being an official sponsor of SFDW, please fill out the sponsorship form and we will reach out with more details soon!

I represent a non-profit, do I still have to pay a fee?

Registration fees are reduced for registered non profit organizations. When filling out the application form, simply select non profit as the type of organization.

San Francisco Design Week aims to showcase innovative brands, design teams and orgs without having an application fee ever be a roadblock for participation. We want to support and encourage underserved communities to apply and be recognized on our platform. If you have any suggestions on how we might better accomplish this please contact us at

Please fill out the Event Proposal Fee Waiver form.

I don’t represent a non-profit, but I can’t afford the registration fee. Can I still participate?

We want everyone to be able to participate in SFDW regardless of their economic footing. Thanks to our sponsors, we have a few spots reserved for those experiencing financial hardship, please fill out this application.

Is the application fee refundable?

Application fees are non-refundable once an application is accepted. If your application is not accepted, 100% of your fee will be refunded.

Editing fee

We understand that some changes to your event are out of your control, however, changes to an event that has already been submitted will incur an editing fee, starting at $50 and additional charges for major edits.

Ticketing and Registration

Who handles ticketing?

SFDW handles ticketing for you through one consolidated platform so that the ticketing and registration process is consistent and streamlined for attendees. Each host will be given access to their event registrations and attendee information 48hrs and 24 hrs prior to the event. We will also communicate with you throughout the registration process if your registration is low and help you to promote and fill seats. Any communication from hosts to attendees will be managed through SFDW.

Who collects ticket sales?

SFDW, a non-profit 501c3, requires attendees to purchase an all-access pass for the festival excludes workshops/special events (contact our team for more details) and the proceeds go to cover hard costs for producing the event and is considered a donation. We've had a tough time surviving throughout the pandemic so we appreciate your contribution so that we can continue hosting this event for the community. Your studio name will be added to our Community Partner page for extra promotion of your brand and as a resource for Bay Area design. If your organization is hosting a workshop, please send an email to

How can I be sure that I will have attendees?

Live events tend to sell out quickly. Once your event is live, share the event to your network and with your organization. We will also be promoting your event and monitoring ticket sales. We will notify you. You can monitor your ticket sales through your Eventbrite page. We will add tickets to your listing to "oversell" in order to make sure that seats are filled. When filling out the host application, include your target amount of attendees. We will calculate available tickets based on historical no-show rates.

Planning & Marketing

What can I do to promote my event?

Promote your SFDW presence in advance via social media. Tweet about the date of your event as soon as this information is available. Make a post about your SFDW week participation in your blog or on your Facebook page. Create an Instagram competition with free giveaways to increase the number of followers. Send out an email blast and invite your studio’s friends to join or spread awareness.

Do you cover the costs of event production, including supplies, food, drinks, and snacks?

If providing such items is a financial burden, we encourage you to find donations from your clients, partners or sponsors whenever possible.

Does SFDW provide volunteers for my event?

You will be responsible for finding your own volunteers.

Spread the word about SFDW

To actively join the conversation and help us promote your brand, we encourage you to use SFDW's handles, hashtags, and logo in your communication on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:

Twitter Handle: @SFDesignweek
Instagram: SFDesignweek
Hashtag: #SFDW

Download our logo

Contact SFDW

Read through all the FAQs but still have questions?

Contact us at