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5 Major Takeaways from Design Industry Conferences

Regularly attending design industry conferences enhances the quality of service I provide to my clients. Recently, I attended KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show), and ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair). Prior to COVID, I attended High Point Market and the Architectural Digest show. I spend several days each year at conferences because I bring back new knowledge and experience that enable me to improve how my clients live and feel at home. Now, I’ll show you what I mean. Let’s discuss my five major takeaways.

1. Helpful New products

When considering which products to select for a project, it’s not enough to search online or go to a local show room. Instead, when attending conferences, I keep current projects in mind, and I seek out new products that may be useful for future projects as well. Some items are tried and true, while others are brand new. It’s an opportunity to see a lot of product all at once to compare functionality, aesthetic, price, and product support.

Let’s look at some examples:

1. The all in one comfort toilet/bidet is now a more available, affordable, and hygienic option when updating a new bathroom.

2. Gorgeous new vessel sinks are available to improve the aesthetic.

2. Creative Ideas

As a creative person, I always look for inspiration, and the mind does the rest. When surrounded by companies, products, and industry experts, I get bombarded with new ideas. For example, an effective new approach to kitchen design is to use multiple materials and colors, together with workspace zones. I take in all the new designs and concepts, collating them to determine what may work best for my clients.

3. New Sources

Companies come and go, especially now in the COVID era. As companies have maneuvered through supply chain disruptions, freight delays, and reduced personnel, the availability of products has changed. Therefore, to best serve my clients, I must have multiple solutions and multiple sources of product so I can recommend the best course of action. In order to learn who is showing which products, along with their most efficient uses, I take the time to talk to the manufacturers and their representatives at conferences. By doing this, I recently discovered a way to update existing cabinets with a beautiful laminate that can transform a space.

4. Meeting Other Designers

Swapping ideas with other designers is extremely useful in my work. In fact, I get as much out of helping others as I do from the solutions other designers share with me. As a group of professionals, when we help one another, our clients ultimately benefit the most.

5. Stay on Top of Trends

Of course, exciting and ever-evolving industry trends fuel lots of new ideas. Consider, for instance, the current popularity of automation in the home. So many new appliances, products, and materials have come to market within the last few years alone. Yet, not every trending item is relevant and suitable for the client. It can be very time consuming for a consumer to go to each showroom and see what’s new. That’s why it’s my job to know and understand how and why to use new technologies: to see what is trending or here to stay. It is up to me to curate this information for the client.

One current trend in kitchen appliances is smart appliance updates. Here’s how they work: if you want to upgrade your oven’s functionality, you don’t necessarily need a new appliance. Instead, your oven downloads smart updates that modify its functions. For instance, just as the air fryer has become more popular, some ovens have offered updates to add that option.

6. Adding Value to My Clients

AS a designer, I bring my education, experience, and knowledge to every job. I make it my business to stay one step ahead and learn about the latest trends, products, resources, and concepts. After determining the required functionality and aesthetic to suit my client’s desires, I can then offer the best recommendations.

If you want to avoid expensive mistakes and save time with an expert opinion, reach out to me for a complimentary discovery call.

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