The Conference

Inspiration from across the nation. Energize your creative spirit with three days packed full of renowned keynote speakers, studio tours, panel discussions, and more breakout sessions and workshops than ever before. And get great feedback on your work at our portfolio review from leading industry professionals, or even land a job at our aptly named job fair.

Conference: March 19 - 21, 2015

Conference ticket early bird pricing is now closed. Conference tickets are available at the door for $200, and day passes can be purchased at the door for $100.

Venue & Hotel Info

Doubletree Dallas - Campbell Centre
8250 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75206
T: 214-691-8700

Mention "National Student Show" when booking your room for $99/night room rates. Be sure to book by March 13th to get this rate.

Schedule of Events

With events spanning from Thursday, March 19th to Saturday, March 21st, this year's National Student Show & Conference promises three days with plenty to do.

Keynote Speakers

  • Zech Bard
    Head Writer at Instrument

    Zech Bard is a writer, designer and thinker from Portland, Oregon. He is currently a writer at digital creative studio Instrument and that means words come out of him for money, most recently for Levi’s, Google, Patagonia, The Met and The Daily Beast. He once was in Wieden+Kennedy's 12 ad school and before that the DSVC. He misses the latter and also sunlight.

  • Justin Harder
    Claus Studios, Creative Director

    Justin has over ten years of experience in the commercial and entertainment industries, having served as an Illustrator, Designer, Copywriter, Art Director and Creative Director along the way. Justin painted the end title sequence for Marvel's THOR: The Dark World, as well as contributed concept designs for Amazing Spider-Man 2. CLAUS developed, designed, animated and produced the end title sequence for Reel FX's and FOX's 'The Book of Life, an animated film directed by Jorge Gutierrez.

  • Shanteka Sigers
    Sanders\Wingo, Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director

    Business Insider lists her as one of the Most Creative Women In Advertising. Black Enterprise named her a Top Women Executives in Advertising and Marketing. Complex Magazine called her one of the Top Creative Innovators and published her advice for creative professionals.She has created advertising campaigns for McDonald’s, AT&T, Verizon, Chevrolet, Toyota, Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, Allstate, Nationwide, truth and more. She has international experience in new business presentations and broadcast productions, including in Germany, Czech Republic, Canada and England.

    Sigers guest blogs and speaks on a range of advertising topics, including appearances at The University of Texas, The 3% Conference, The One Show, One Club Creative Boot Camp and South By Southwest Interactive. She is both winner and judge of advertising industry awards.At heart, she is a writer. Her blog, Library Of Maternal Nagging was voted Best of Austin by the Austin Chronicle. The Chicago Reader and The Evansville Review have published her works of short fiction.

    Sigers received a B.S. in radio television and film from Northwestern University and lives in Austin, Texas, with her son and an ancient bullmastiff named Lola.

  • Felix Sockwell
    Designer and Creative Director

    A native of Dallas Texas, Felix Sockwell began his career in advertising with stints at DDB and Latitude/Richards Group (Dallas), before moving on to San Francisco and a chance meeting with advertising executive - which sent him to New York to start a new design component at Ogilvy & Mather called The Brand Integration Group.

    After a year Sockwell opened his own office (in 1998) and has since been working in NY and Maplewood, NJ, where he lives with his three girls. Sockwell is an avid soccer player.

Studio Tour Tickets

Come to the conference a day early for a guided tour of Dallas design and advertising studios. Groups will get to spend the afternoon touring three studios. This is very popular and will sell out early. Studio Tours start at 1pm on Thursday, March 19th. Tickets are non-refundable after February 20th. Note: Studio tours are during the day, March 19th prior to the conference, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Award Gala Tickets

Stay Saturday evening for a served dinner and dessert. We'll be handing out awards and over $15,000 in cash prizes to the winners of the student show. Tickets will be $35 at the door, so buy them now and save $10. All pre-purchased tickets are non-refundable.

Breakout Sessions

Join us for breakout sessions focusing on key topics lead by industry experts. Each session is geared towards acclimating you for real world skills and job preperation.

The Show

Go head to head with students from across the country as you compete for over $15,000 in scholarships and best-of-category prizes. See the official rules and this year's winners to learn more. Pencils Down: Call for entries is now closed


view winners


  • Samantha Reitmayer Sano

    Owner/Principal Creative Director, Swoon the Studio

  • Dana Tanamachi-Williams

    Owner, Tanamachi Studio

  • Ryan Martindale

    Partner /Executive Creative Director, Super Top Secret

  • Shelby Miller

    Partner, MHI Co-Founder, Vinyl Thoughts

  • James Lacey

    Partner, DennardLacey


With over $15,000 in scholarships and best-of-category prizes, there’s plenty to go around.

  • inVision Top Senior Portfolio Prize

    The grand prize senior portfolio winner will be awarded a whopping $3,000. Please put this money to good use beginning your new career, and don't spend it on Starbucks and skinny jeans. Students must have more than 90 credit hours to be eligible for this award.

  • 2nd Place Senior Portfolio

    The second place winner will be awarded a $2,000 prize. Students must have more than 90 credit hours to be eligible for this award.

  • 3rd Place Senior Portfolio

    The third place winner will be awarded a $1,000 prize. Students must have more than 90 credit hours to be eligible for this award.

  • Dick Sloan Award for Best Sophomore Portfolio

    $1,000 award for the best overall sophomore portfolio. Students must have less than 60 credit hours to be eligible.

  • Dick Sloan Award for Best Junior Portfolio

    $2,000 award for the best overall Junior portfolio. In addition, this Junior will receive five business cards from creative directors across the country that have seen their work and offered a personal portfolio review. Students must have more than 60 and less than 90 credit hours to be eligible.

  • Best of Category

    $125 cash award for each category

  • Judge's Choice

    Each judge will select their favorite piece from the show. $500 cash award.

  • Best Digital Experience

    COLOSSAL sponsors this scholarship. $500

  • Best in Show

    An additional $500 cash award for the best overall entry from the “Best of Category” winners.

  • Best School

    $1,000 awarded to the college, university, or art school whose students, as a whole, exhibit the highest level of work.

Entry Categories

    General Design

  • Logos
  • Letterhead Program
  • Packaging
  • Posters
  • Publication Design
  • Book Covers / Spreads
  • Magazine Covers / Spreads
  • Brochures & Catalogs
  • Annual Reports
  • Miscellaneous Design


  • Print Advertising‚ General
  • Print Advertising‚ Public Service Pro Bono
  • Broadcast Advertising‚ Television or Radio

    Environmental Design

  • Environmental Design

    Interactive Design

  • Website Design
  • Mobile App Design
  • Miscellaneous Interactive Design

    Industrial Design

  • Industrial Design
    (includes product design)

    Motion Design

  • Animated Short (up to 5 minutes, 2D or 3D)
  • Short Film (up to 5 minutes, live action)
  • Motion Graphics (up to 2 minutes, graphic design in motion)


  • Illustration, single and series (series must include at least 3 pieces)


  • Photography, single and series (series must include at least 3 pieces)

    Group Projects

  • Group project (each group project may be entered only once, and may not be entered in other categories)

    Graduate Work

  • Graduate Student Work (Since the Show is designed for undergraduates, all graduate student work may not be entered in other categories)

    Total Campaign

  • Total Campaign (3 or more pieces, that are part of one campaign, from three different categories above. Example: 1 poster,  1 brochure and 1 packaging piece)

For additional information regarding the category submissions, see our Official Rules