Six leading business experts kicked off Editor at Large’s first-ever LAUNCH Summit earlier this month at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, leading 45 attendees through the basics of the business of design. “Most interior designers don't leave design school with working knowledge of accounting, marketing and other essential business-management skills that are needed to run a successful firm,” shares EAL’s marketing director, Kate Jerde, who organized the Summit. “Yet they need this know-how in order to be effective and take their firm to the next level. Our LAUNCH Summit is the antidote.”
Moderator Arianne Nardo with Veranda's Clinton Smith
The experts presented on six focused topics throughout the daylong intensive, including business consultant Sean Low, who discussed client management and billing strategies; lawyer Dennis Ellman, who presented on contracts; Veranda editor in chief Clinton Smith, on approaching editors; marketing/brand strategist Alex Honeysett, on branding; sales consultant and podcast host John Livesay, on how to pitch clients; and Kate Verner, who discussed licensing and private-label collections.
“Pacific Design Center was thrilled partnering with Editor at Large to bring LAUNCH Summit to the Southern California design community,” says Jeff Sampson, vice president and director of marketing at the PDC. “Our mission is to consistently showcase top-notch industry authorities to inform, educate and inspire on an array of topics, from best practices in business development to innovations in the design process. The LAUNCH program was a perfect fit to the PDC narrative, presenting a comprehensive day of insights delivered by A-list practitioners across a spectrum of essential business matters.”
Kate Verner leads her presentation on licensing
Designers shared their takes on the event with EAL:
“No matter what your experience in design, it’s always nice to step back and realize we all have the same business issues at whatever stage you are at in your career,” says Jeffrey Alan Marks, of the Santa Monica firm of the same name.
“The biggest takeaway for me was the opportunity to spend the day and share insights and ideas with the other attendees,” designer Missy Calvert says. “Within the group, there were people with a focus on residential as well as commercial design, production, publishing/writing. Between sessions, over lunch, and at the end-of-day reception, we talked about what each of us had taken away from each session and how those lessons might be incorporated into our own businesses. LAUNCH Summit did a great job putting together a program that brought together a strong group of participants with well-structured and informative presentations.”
The next LAUNCH Summit will be held in Atlanta this November.