DNN’s Courtney Porter to moderate designer panel, plus more events at Universal

Universal Furniture’s learning center is rolling out its largest lineup of educational sessions this spring from Friday, April 21, through Tuesday, April 25, featuring topics from firm financials to vacation rentals to personal confidence and success. Events will be in the company’s High Point showroom at 101 S. Hamilton St.

The company’s to-the-trade account holders also can enjoy its Designer’s Lounge, complete with cocktails, swag bags and a beauty bar. The lounge is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Friday afternoon, Decor News Now’s Courtney Porter will moderate a panel, “Discover the Art of Design: Big Cities vs. Small Towns,” with Marta Mitchell of Marta Mitchell Interior Design Group, Robert Ventolo of Crain + Ventolo, and Christian Daw of Christian Daw Design.

Learn more about that event and more below.

Friday, April 21

1. Get the Facts: The CPSC Ruling and What It Means for Retailers and Interior Designers

  • Speaker: Bill Perdue, vice president of regulatory affairs for AHFA
  • Date: Friday, April 21
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Description: Regulatory and compliance issues can be complicated, and there is a lot to know regarding the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ruling, the STURDY Act and new ASTM guidelines. Join Bill Perdue, AHFA’s vice president of regulatory affairs, as he breaks down the new guidelines and how it affects retailers and interior designers. What are manufacturers doing to address the ruling? When does it go into effect? How will this impact my business? Get the answers to all these questions and more.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

2. The Building Blocks of a Firm’s Financials

  • Speakers: Traci Connell of Traci Connell Interiors and The Gloss; and Beth Bender of The Dove Agency
  • Date: Friday, April 21
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Description: Join Traci Connell, interior designer, business mentor and founder of The Gloss for Interior Designers, for an intimate discussion with Beth Bender, co-founder and principal of The Dove Agency, to discuss tactics to streamline the back-end financials of a design firm to pave the way for financial growth and firm expansion.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

3. Discover the Art of Design: Big Cities vs. Small Towns

  • Moderator: Courtney Porter of Decor News Now. Speakers: Marta Mitchell of Marta Mitchell Interior Design Group, Robert Ventolo of Crain + Ventolo, and Christian Daw of Christian Daw Design
  • Date: Friday, April 21
  • Time: 4 p.m.
  • Where we live affects our experiences and relationships, as well as our styles and aesthetics. Whether it is to reflect the energy of a thriving metropolis or to capture the charm of a quaint town, clients have different wants and needs based on where they call home. Join us as we dive into the diverse world of design across the country and take a closer look at how designers from big cities and small towns provide for their clients. Discussions will include the dynamic relationship between location and design style, wants and needs; and the unique design needs and styles of urban and rural clients.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

Saturday, April 22

1.  How to Set Flat Rates to Earn More With Less Stress

  • Speaker: Melissa Galt
  • Date: Saturday, April 22
  • Time: 10 a.m. 
  • Description: Tired of losing hours each week creating and adjusting hourly invoices? Ready to trade tracking time for earning what you deserve all the time? Then join Melissa Galt for this master class in how to set flat rates with defined deliverables so your profit is protected and your client has confidence and clarity. The added bonus is you’ll know your cash flow at all times and your clients can manage their interior investments with ease.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

2. The New Client Journey: How to Attract, Close & Onboard Every Ideal Client

  • Speaker: John McClain
  • Date: Saturday, April 22
  • Time: Noon
  • Description: Don’t let that perfect client slip by you! This session will begin with specific marketing methods to attract potential clients, managing the discovery call; moving to the consultation, design agreement and finally, client onboarding. Downloads will include “The Discovery Call Guide to Success,” “The In-Home Consultation Questionnaire” and John McClain’s Client Onboarding System.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

3. Cultivating a Firm Culture

  • Moderator: Laura Umansky of Laura U Design Collective. Speakers: Bryan Yates of Yates Desygn, Lorna Gross of Lorna Gross Interior Design, and Morgan Farrow of Morgan Farrow Interiors
  • Date: Saturday, April 22
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Description: A design firm’s culture can often be the breaking point between success and a mess. Hear from some of the nation’s top design firm leaders, including moderator Laura Umansky of Laura U Design Collective. They will share how they created and maintained a positive, collaborative firm culture. Attendees will learn how to hire the right team members, tactics for fostering workplace relationships and how to handle employee conflicts.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

4. How to Become a Wildly In-Demand Designer

  • Speaker: Sandra Funk
  • Date: Saturday, April 22
  • Time: 4 p.m.
  • Description: How would your business transform if you had unending potential clients just begging to work with you? Sandra Funk will show you why it’s important to make the shift from being overworked and under-appreciated, to hand selecting your clients, skyrocketing your profits and joy — while still having a life. After this workshop, you will be ready to: price your projects for profit, scale your business while you focus on what you love and build a pipeline full of raving, referring, ideal clients.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

Sunday, April 23

1. Niching in Vacation Rental Design

  • Moderator: Ericka Saurit of Saurit Creative. Speakers: Jessica Duce, Olaniyi Swarn, Margie Kaercher and Tatianna Taylor-Tait.
  • Date: Sunday, April 23
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Description: Once you’ve declared your short-term rental design services or specialty, what does it take to build your brand, identify the ideal client and get hired? Jessica Duce of JDuce Design and Vacation Rental Designers and others reveal what it took to establish authority in this growing and fast-paced design space. Moderated by Ericka Saurit of Saurit Creative with introductions by Jane Dagmi of High Point x Design.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

 2. Interior Design Unplugged: The Blueprint to Building a Business that Lasts

  • Speakers: Michelle Wiebe and Tom Wiebe of Studio M
  • Date: Sunday, April 23
  • Time: Noon
  • Description: Do seven- and eight-figure annual revenue numbers excite you? Would you like to NOT participate in the recession? Over three decades of owning an award-winning interior design firm have given Michelle Wiebe and Tom Wiebe practical insight and wisdom they want to share with you. Attendees will learn top tips about building and growing a business: client agreements, budgets, fees and mark-ups; assessing profitability; building and inspiring a winning team; and navigating all economic conditions.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

 3. Why You Need a Sales Ecosystem

  • Moderator: Nicole Kasak of A Design Partnership. Speakers: Amber Guyton of Blessed Little Bungalow; Karen Wolfe of K+Co Living, Joshua Smith of Joshua Smith Interior Design, Lance Thomas of Thomas Guy Interiors, and Amy Forshew of Proximity Interior Design
  • Date: Sunday, April 23
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Description: In today’s digital environment, setting up a sales and marketing ecosystem is essential to take your interior design business to greater heights. Composed of eight distinct parts, each component of your system needs to interact with the others to ensure client acquisition and retention. Join our panel of experts as we dive into the specifics of each segment of the sales and marketing ecosystem and learn about how they support one another to build a flourishing legacy brand that will outperform the competition. Moderated by Nicole Kasak of A Design Partnership.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

 4. Crossover Interior Design

See Also

  • Moderator: Charmaine Wynter of Charmaine Wynter Interiors. Speakers: Stacy Garcia of Stacy Garcia Global Lifestyle Brands, Gary Inman, designer in residence at High Point University, Kymberlyn Lacy of International Flair Designs, David Santiago of Casa Santi Interior Design, Nicole Baxter of nBaxter Design, Aakash Patel of Decor Boston, and David Cohen of David Cohen Brands.
  • Date: Sunday, April 23
  • Time: 4 p.m.
  • Description: Classically, crossovers are the perfect marriage of modern design and traditional elements — it’s beautiful when done right. The panelists in this discussion acknowledge that art, design, fashion and technology speak similar languages. Join moderator Charmaine Wynter as these respected names from residential and hospitality design share how crossovers can positively impact your business. Q&A to follow.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

 

Monday, April 24

1. The Big Picture: Sourcing Art Like a Pro

  • Moderator: Kaitlin Petersen of Business of Home. Speakers: Allyson Monson, fine art photographer; Eleanor Scott Davis, fine art painter; Christine Wexler and Carol Romanoff of Romanoff Elements; and Bets Miller of Nest Inspired Home
  • Date: Monday, April 24
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Description: Is finding art an arduous task? In a world of infinite possibilities where do you start? Join Business of Home Editor-in-Chief Kaitlin Petersen as she talks with artists, art brokers and interior designers about the process of sourcing art.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

2. Creating a Luxury Look … For Less!

  • Moderator: Diane Falvey of Furniture, Lighting & Decor. Speakers: Erinn Valencich of Erinn V., Thom Filicia of Thom Filicia Inc., Megan Molton of Megan Molton Interiors, and Kristi Nelson of KM Nelson Design
  • Date: Monday, April 24
  • Time: Noon
  • Description: Top designers share their go-to brands and design tricks for a luxe space. No matter the budget, it’s never enough. So, what are the most important elements to focus on? And which brands do you go to for big impact without breaking the budget? This all-star cast will share successful budget-friendly finds and design tips from their most gorgeous projects, including sharing their own designs available at market.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

 3. The Power of YOU

  • Speaker: Ginna Christensen, GC Collaborative
  • Date: Monday, April 24
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Description: We are constantly under pressure and told how to think, act and grow our businesses. The only problem is you may begin to doubt yourself. I help clients regain trust in themselves and allow their gut, intuition, creative ideas and values to determine the way forward. During this interactive presentation, we will focus on one tool: human design. Working with three volunteers from the audience, Ginna Christensen will walk you through the practical tools this roadmap provides so that you can avoid burnout while feeling more confident, satisfied and successful. Click https://ginnachristensen.as.me/ThePowerOfYOU to volunteer. Following “The Power of YOU,” coach and consultant Ginna Christensen will be offering 20-minute power coaching sessions to the first four people to sign up. Click https://ginnachristensen.as.me/20MinPowerSession to claim your spot and indicate which time slot works best for you. (Time slots: 3:30 p.m., 3:50 p.m., 4:10 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 24). Sessions will be held in Universal’s Designer Lounge.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

 4. AD Editors on the Art of the Pitch—and the New AD PRO Directory

  • Speakers: Lila Allen and Mel Studach, AD Pros
  • Date: Monday, April 24
  • Time: 4 p.m.
  • Description: Join Architectural Digest editors Lila Allen and Mel Studach as they spill insider tips for getting your projects in front of editors — and ensuring that they’re seen in their best light. Prepare to take notes as Lila Allen and Mel Studach share intel on pitching your work to journalists, common missteps to avoid and tips on expanding your reach with AD’s newest tool, the AD PRO Directory. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this session will help you position your portfolio in a way that entices editors and future clients alike.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents

Tuesday, April 25

1. How to Build a Team and Avoid Burnout

  • Speaker: Melissa Galt
  • Date: Tuesday, April 25
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Description: The past two years have seen an intense demand for design, and burnout is at an all-time high. It’s time to get some help. Master building the right team for your firm with designer business coach Melissa Galt. You’ll learn whether to outsource or hire locally, tips to make the right hire the first time, how to craft an irresistible job description, and what to pay and how to manage your team. And you’ll know what to delegate to reclaim your time and energy. Other topics: how to identify what to delegate to avoid overwhelm, how to document your processes so you minimize time in training, where to find great talent fast online and offline, key interviewing tips so you hire right the first time, and how to build a team online and offline that you can rely on to build your business.
  • RSVP: www.UniversalFurniture.com/marketevents
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