As a designer and entrepreneur, industry events are crucial to attend. You may think it’s just to check out the latest offerings in furniture and finishes, but it’s so much more than that.
The average workspace can be pretty insular. Staff arrive at the office, and apart from the occasional coffee, lunch break, or meeting, tend to stay in front of their screens until the daily commute back home. Despite what some of the latest articles are saying, more often than not, this pattern repeats Monday to Friday, every week, for the 48ish working weeks in a year.
Given this bubble-type working style, when an opportunity arrives to leave the office and explore what else the industry has to offer – you should take it, and here’s why:
1. To take a break, but also to recharge
With so much time spent in front of the screen, it’s easy to start to feel a bit square eyed sometimes. Getting away from the computer to connect with something different to what you’ve become accustomed to provide our eyes with a different kind of dimension to assess.
Your brain, too, gets to recharge, but also gets a bit of a workout through forming new or strengthening existing neural pathways. This in turn, assists with developing lateral and creative thinking.
More importantly, you get to experience more of what it takes to be an effective human being: air, natural light and human-human interaction.
Events such as Denfair, held annually in June and August in Sydney and Melbourne, provide suppliers the opportunity to showcase their new wares, and designers to experience the next product offering. Photo credit: Denfair
2. Be inspired and be connected
I recently attended FRONT, an industry event held to promote connection between design professionals, and sat in on a couple of amazingly inspiring seminars. Not only did I get to experience fellow industry figures speaking on issues of concern, but I heard new information that I would never have learned if I hadn’t left my desk. It was like listening to a podcast but better, because I had the opportunity to ask questions the moment they bubbled up into my conscious.
I also felt connected to the other wonderful human beings within my industry. And as it turns out, a number of other people attending these seminars as me had the same questions. Having my thoughts and feelings confirmed and accepted by others would never had happened if I hadn’t left my working bubble and ventured out to be inspired.
In the design and architecture industry, it is crucial to be across what is up and coming; to be across what the ‘thing’ of the future is, and to know what will become de rigueur in interior spaces across the country. We need to continually educate ourselves so we can then explain why or why not our clients should get the ‘thing’ or ignore the hype.
FRONT, a new industry event which launched this year provided industry professionals a chance to meet and greet fellow industry makers and creators. Photo credit: Fiona Susanto
3. Canapes and cocktails
You may think this last point is a bit trivial, but hear me out. At the base of every business, of every industry, and of everything we do and achieve, are people. And what better way to get people together than canapes and cocktails? As long as the canapes/cocktails ratio is on point (and not too skewed in the cocktails direction), these events set the scene for great human connection.
You might reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in a while, providing you with the opportunity to reflect, or that quick hello with someone you have a loose association with might lead to new collaborative work together, or better yet, you might get that chance to remember why you got into this industry in the first place and why you love it.
Spending time with fellow industry friends (occasionally over a drink) can help maintain existing relationships and build new connections. Photo credit: Denfair
These events, whether it’s Denfair, Front, Design Speaks, or any other industry offering, bring together all styles of designers, from a range of backgrounds and experiences. Together, when we take the time, we can be inspired and build a better future for our clients and us.