Published On:

Tuesday 13th June 2017


Annual Conference

Inside Knowledge

Institute news


On Thursday 8th June 2017, the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), hosted its sixth annual conference, entitled ‘Inside Knowledge: The BIID Business Success Conference’. Developed specifically for and by interior designers, the new conference format offered attendees real and actionable guidance, as well as strategic insights and practical ideas that interior designers can apply to their business. The event took place at 30 Euston Square, London, and was attended by nearly 250 delegates from the design industry, including BIID members, design professionals, students and media.

This year’s programme featured eight inspiring and informative talks on business success. Highlights from the day included:

  • Attendees were captivated by this year’s keynote conversation with one of the country’s most highly-regarded designers, Guy Oliver. Led by Bill Prince, Deputy Editor of GQ, this intimate conversation delivered a unique insight Guy Oliver’s success, including how he built his impressive client portfolio covering private residences, yachts, aircraft, luxury hotels and more. The talk inspired and enthused the audience, creating a great buzz that continued throughout the rest of the day. 
  • BIID President Elect, Charles Leon, chaired a panel discussion on how to build a great interiors brand. Leading designers and brand experts, Karen Howes, co-founder of Taylor Howes and Nick Cross, Founder of Tag Red, explored the key elements that make a great and enduring interiors brand, providing attendees with useful insights and tips to take-away and implement in their own business.
  • The audience were rapt as Sophie Ashby took to the stage to deliver a fresh and honest talk on how creating her ‘internal’ and ‘external ‘ teams helped build the success of her business. Receiving enthusiastic feedback from attendees, Sophie is one of the design industry's rising stars.
  • Past BIID President Daniel Hopwood took to the stage in the afternoon to host a discussion on the secrets of running a successful interior design business and how to stay creative. Dan chaired a lively and informative conversation which explored how renowned designers Joanna Wood and Dickie Bannenberg keep their businesses innovative and successful over the years and tackled topics such as tricky clients, business mistakes, favourite projects and more. 
  • Susie Rumbold closed the day with a thought provoking panel discussion on mark-ups and handling fees with leading industry experts, Colin Jones, partner at Hewitsons solicitors and co-author of the BIID CID/14 Concise Agreement, Rachel Smart, design business consultant and strategist, and David Keirle, founder and chairman of KSS architects. Widely regarded as one of the most challenging areas of a design business to get right, the discussion brought great clarity to the complex issues and received great audience engagement as attendees asked high level questions to the panel.  

“We are delighted with the feedback from the most successful BIID conference to date” comments BIID President, Susie Rumbold. “Thanks to the refreshed format, the conference focused on fundamental business issues, including marketing, fee-handling, business planning, negotiating, people management and more, which offered actionable content to help attendees build their interior design business career. The response from delegates has been incredibly positive and we’re delighted with the level of engagement and enthusiasm showcased by speakers, exhibitors and attendees alike throughout the day. On behalf of the BIID, we’d like to thank everyone who attended and we hope you enjoy putting into practice everything you’ve learnt.”

The conference also featured a select group of exhibitors, including Hamilton Litestat, Roca, Selectaglaze, Spiral Cellars and UK Hide who supported this year’s conference. Each exhibitor had a stand at the conference showcasing some of the latest products and services available to interior design professionals attending the conference.

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