Dayton Design Week is set to become the largest design festival in the Midwest bringing together designers, trade professionals, non-profits, entrepreneurs and business leaders for a week-long series of events, lectures, panel discussions, and studio visits. The week kicks off with an opening night reception, exclusive programming, and interactive exhibits and product displays. 


About DDW


What are the dates of Dayton Design Week 2020?

The Inaugural Dayton Design Week will take place May 20th-24th , 2020 

What are the Headline events?

As of right now, headline events are as scheduled. Additional headline events will be added soon.

  • Design Hub Power Networking and Happy Hour will be on Wednesday, December 20th

What is the goal of Dayton Design Week?

Our goal is to raise public awareness of the impact that design has on innovation and explore the emerging disciplines driving design in Dayton and around the world. We will 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 DDW?

Both events are organized by the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC, however, everyone is welcomed to apply and produce their own events regardless of your affiliation with (DE-FI).  

Who gets involved?

DDW represent a diverse and vibrant industry across many design disciplines including design studios, in-house design teams, galleries and art organizations, local retail and restaurants.

What type of events take place?

The annual festival program contains events including workshops, exhibitions, panels, exclusive programming, networking event, fashion experiences, interactive displays, studio Crawls and open studios and more!

Application Process


What dates can I host an event?

May 20th-24th,2019, however there are blackout times and we do not accept events during those times.  Blackout times for hosts include May 20th 4p-8p. 

Can I apply to host more than one event?

Absolutely! Think carefully in regard 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 more than one event. Please submit a new application for each event you plan to host.

If you plan to host multiple events, please contact us at info@daytonemergingfashionincubator.com before applying.

What information do I need to start my application?

To get started, download the Application Checklist and 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 my application by the deadline?

The September 1st 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 info@daytonemergingfashionincubator.com

I have a preferred date/time but haven’t finalized details. Should I still submit my application?

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

Early Bird Pricing

Additional Information

To encourage timely registration, those who register early will receive a discounted fee, so make sure to register early! Preferred dates and time are awarded to applicants who submit complete applications on a first-come, first-served basis. However, we reserve the right to schedule events in order to avoid overlapping events with similar or competing topics.

Our overall strategy is to spread out topics throughout the week in order to create a rich experience for our attendees. For example, if multiple User Experience UX events are scheduled on a specific night, we may spread them across several days so that interested attendees can go to all of them, rather than have to choose one.


Fee Details


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

As a volunteer based organization, we rely on registration fees, sponsorship, donations and the goodness of others to produce DDW . The fees allow us to cover the cost of having an administrative team, PR, and additional support as needed. Thank you for your support!

I want to support (DE-FI) as an official Sponsor; how do I do that?

If you’re interested in becoming an official sponsor of (DE-FI), please follow this link to our sponsorship packet and send an email to info@daytonemergingfashionincubator.com 

Sponsorship Packet

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

 Registration fees are waived for registered non-profit organizations. If you represent a non-profit, please use the Non-Profit Event Registration 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 DDW  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.

Style of Events


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

ABSOLUTELY! Consider submitting your business or organizations to our Design Map , or host an event that engages the design community.

What is the deadline to apply to host?

February 1st , 2020

What is the deadline for Early Bird Pricing ?

 December 3 1st , 2019 

What kinds of events can I host?

We have three different ways for you to host an event and to create your own original programming.


Coffee with a Designer

This is a great way to ease into the process of hosting an event, and morning and early afternoons are underutilized during the week. You determine the location of the meetup which can be a coffee shop, public space or co-working venue — be creative! This is also the most intimate format as it can include one-on-one meetups or small groups. We recommend capping participants at 12-15.


Studio Crawl

The organized Studio Crawl will be a fan favorite! Participating studios are selected by (DE-FI) advisors based on what they think will make the best experience for attendees.


Host your own event

Hosting an event is an opportunity for you to create your own original programming which can include, but is not limited to, a runway experiences 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.


What’s the difference between the Open Studios and the organized Studio Crawl?

Open Studios are independent events hosted on any day during DDW  and typically include a look inside the studio and special programming. The Studio Crawl is a concentrated group of studios—curated by our committee—who open their doors on the same evening. Attendees go from place to place at via Party Bus!



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 info@daytonemergingfashionincubator.com

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 info@daytonemergingfashionincubator.com. The events team can make the introduction if a host has an event, but no venue. (DE-FI) and DDW are not responsible for negotiating terms between a potential host and a venue..

Apply to the Studio Crawl


Chosen studios will be assigned a night based on which neighborhood they are located in. For example, if you’re studio is in the Wright-Dunbar neighborhood, you’ll be assigned the same evening as all studios in that neighborhood. No exceptions as it detracts from the “crawl” experience. 

Only studios within The Miami Valley area will be considered. If you’re studio is elsewhere outside of the Miami Valley, you can still host an open studio. As a hosted event, however, you will not be able to participate in the organized Studio Crawl.

What is considered the Miami Valley Area?

We consider the following counties a part of the Miami Valley: Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble,Clark and Warren.

What is the deadline to apply to the Studio Crawl and is there a separate deadline for Early Bird pricing?

The application deadline is September 1st , 2019 and early bird pricing ends on July 1st, 2019

What are the dates of the 2020 Studio Crawls?

Crawls can take place May 21st-24th, 2019. 

How many volunteers can I expect to help with my Studio Crawl?

For the Studio Crawl, our goal is to provide at least one volunteer or contractor to manage check-in for your event. You are responsible for having staff or your own volunteers manage other aspects of your studio crawl.

Who keeps the ticket sales and how are the studio crawl routes planned and organized?

Studio Crawls are a fundraiser for (DE-FI), we are asking for 20% of all sales. We plan the Studio Crawl based on the locations of the majority of participating studios. Studios located in the same area will be assigned the same date.

Additional Crawl Facts

My studio is not in the Miami Valley or in an area without other participating studios, can I host?

If your studio is located outside The Miami Valley or in an area where there might not be many studios participating, you are not eligible to participate in the Studio Crawl and we would advise that your studio participate in an alternative design event.

How do attendees get around between studios?

We do our best to organize each Studio Crawl around neighborhoods that are accessible by public transportation, as well as by foot, however, we ae also offering a special VIP package that includes a party bus, outside of that DDW  is not responsible for transportation. Attendees will be moving from studio to studio so keep in mind that attendees will be coming and going throughout the evening. 

How will visitors find our studio?

Studio Crawl maps will be published a few weeks before DDW  starts and are available on the website for download. Each Studio will be provided with a DDW  poster to alert attendees that they’ve arrived at a Studio Crawl location. We encourage you to find innovative ways to let people know where you are.

Design Hub Power Networking and Happy Hour


What is the Design Hub Power Networking and Happy Hour?

The hub is a concentrated feature curated event that reflect the vast array of participation of disciplines as well as an exhibit experience. It is the largest network gathering at one time during the entire week.  This event is designed to connect and celebrate across the Miami Valley!

Who are the attendees?

The attendees are a broad mix of people from creative, business, technology, media, education, and design-aware communities, and the general public from the Miami Valley and beyond.

Will there be press at the event?

Yes, we have an extensive press list and we will alert them of all participating exhibitors. If you have additional press you would like to invite, please send an e-mail to info@daytonemergingfashionincubator.com

Will there be photography at this event?

Yes, we will have volunteer photographers at the event. If you wish to get specific shots of your space we recommend bringing in your own photographer 

Installations & Exhibits

If you’re an artist, designer or an organization who wants to engage with DDW  this year there are opportunities to do so through art installations, window displays, or public projects. Installations can be specific to DDW  or works that already exist that you believe will interest the design community.

Restaurants, Bars, Cafes & Retail Shops

If you’re a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, or retail shop, this is a great way to engage with  DDW and attract new people to your location. Each year (DE-FI) has successfully hosted sold out events and we want to direct them to the very best that the city has to offer. Consider showcasing something design related on your menu, in your window or team up with a local designer to draw people in.

Offical DDW Design Map

Submit to the DDW  Official Design Map: Registration Fee: $99

The 2020 Dayton Design Map showcases retail & restaurants, exhibitions & installations, and public art that prove that the Dayton area is one of the world’s preeminent design-driven cities. Submit to be listed on this year’s map and help us create a Miami Valley-wide experience for the attendees eager to interact with the community through the world-class design that can be found in coffee shops to sidewalk murals and more!

Non-profits, exhibitions, public art submit for free!

Event Hosting Tips


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 site, so avoid being too descriptive.

Event Description

 Like your event title, your event description should make it clear what attendees will experience 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 short 2 sentences. 

Event Image

Keep it simple. No text and no logos, and we really mean it. If your event topic 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, DDW  is for designers, so a strong, well-designed image is important.

Preferred Dates & Times

DDW  will consist of scores of events throughout the week. We do our best to give event hosts their preferred date and time, but sometimes we have to make adjustments based on the overall curation of the week..

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

Weekend dates will be the busiest- If you’re worried about competing with a ton of events, then consider avoiding the weekend. 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 your 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.  

Planning & Marketing


How can I be sure that I will have attendees?

Each year (DE-FI) events tend to sell out quickly. Once your event is live, share the event to your network and with your organization. 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 number of attendees. We will calculate available tickets based on historical no-show rates.

I want lots of people to come, should I make my event free?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but free events tend to struggle the most in regard to attendance. Attendees get excited about events and register for the free events for fear of missing out, but then flake. We highly recommend charging for your event to ensure a healthy turnout. Remember, you can donate your ticket revenue to (DE-FI) or a charity of your choice! 

What can I do to promote my event?

  1. Promote your DDW  presence in advance via social media
  2. Tweet about the date of your event as soon as this information is available
  3. Make a post about your DDW  participation in your blog or on your Facebook page
  4. Create an Instagram competition with free giveaways to increase the number of followers
  5. 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?

Unless, you are selected to participate in a (DE-FI) produced event, you are responsible for covering all of your production cost.   If providing such items is a financial burden, we encourage you to find donations from your clients, partners or sponsors whenever possible. You keep 100% of your event ticket sales, minus Eventbrite fees, so price your tickets according to cover your expenses.

Does (DE-FI) provide volunteers for my event?

 You will be responsible for finding your own volunteers unless you’re participating in the organized Studio Crawl event or one of the Headline events being produced by (DE-FI).   However, if you are having difficulty getting support we are happy to share a request for volunteers with our team of volunteers, please keep in mind that we can not guarantee that we are able to staff your event with volunteers.

Spread the word about DDW

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

Facebook: daytonemergingfashionincubator

Twitter Handle: @DEFIDayton

Instagram: DEFIDayton

Hashtag: #WhatDoYouDEFI

Ticket Details


 If you want to charge less for students, or have ticketing tiers, just include that information in the “Ticket Details” section and we’ll be sure to set that up when we create your event listing. You can also include information about your venue in this section. For example, if attendees will need to sign an NDA, include that in your ticket details so that we’ll know that is something we will need to work with you on. 

Ticket Pricing,Number of Available Tickets, and Press + VIP Tickets

We highly recommend charging a minimum of $10 for your event as it helps cut down on the number of no-shows. Priced events have an average of 25% no-shows, while non-priced events have an average of 50% or more.  

Please indicate the actual number of tickets you would like to sell as we’ll use that number to determine how many tickets should be made available. 

 If you’d like, we can set aside several “hidden” tickets for VIP and press.  

Who handles ticketing?

(DE-FI) handles ticketing for you through Eventbrite so that the ticketing process is consistent and streamlined. Our team will set up an Eventbrite page for each host under the (DE-FI) umbrella to make it easier for attendees to register, however, each host is given full access to their event registrations, attendee information and financial data for tickets sold. 

Who collects ticket sales?

You keep 100% of your ticket sales, minus the Eventbrite fees. Don’t need the cash? Some hosts donate their ticket revenue back to (DE-FI) or donate it to a charity of their choice. If you would like to do so, simply “yes” box in the application when prompted.

Donating Your Ticket Sales

 If you would like to donate your ticket sales to (DE-FI) or a 501 (c)(3) non-profit,please let send us an email at info@daytonemergingfashionincuabtor.com

Checks Payable

 Hosts collecting ticket revenue can determine whether or not they want (DE-FI) to send them a check after their event is over, or have payouts go directly to them via Eventbrite. 

Additional Faqs

Do I need exhibitor or event insurance?

 Each exhibitor and event host is required to have a COI for $1,000,000. The certificate holder should be: Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC, P.O.Box 1664, Dayton, OH 45401-1664 

Should we assume that it’s similar to other events in terms of materials to prepare for the event?

It’s less of a trade show vibe and more of an interactive, community event. Attendees love swag.

Do you provide booth signage?

No. Most companies prefer to display their own signage to reflect their brand. You are welcome to bring your own signage from small printed posters to step and repeats as long it fits within the specs of your space.

When will I receive my exhibit location?

Exhibit locations will be sent the week before. You will be able to pick up your location information during check-in.

What’s the difference between the (DE-FI) event calendar and the official DDW Design Maps?

The event calendar is an online listing that includes all the ticketed events taking place throughout the week. Anyone who applies as a host and is approved will automatically be included on the event calendar. The printed DDW  Design Map is a curated selection of retail, food, sites and ongoing exhibitions such as museums shows and public art installations.