Business of Design, the two-day conference that has been creatively revolutionising the way South Africans do business, returns to Johannesburg and Cape Town in August with more lessons and inspiration from the country’s top business experts and industry professionals.

Now in its third year, Business of Design welcomes an all-new lineup of speakers who aim to guide delegates in ways to work smarter, offering tools for growth and insights into the latest industry trends and brand movements. Topics cover a diverse range of interests that are relevant to various sectors of industry – from real-life social media case studies and top tips when preparing for international trade shows, to ways to use design thinking to affect change, and insider strategies for brand activations.

‘What started off as a conference for design businesses, has grown to welcome delegates from marketing, architecture, retail, advertising and even financial backgrounds,’ says Business of Design co-founder Laurence Brick, MD of Platform Creative Agency and Creative Director for 100% Design South Africa. ‘It’s become a must-attend event for anyone wanting to progress in their business, think differently about the way they work, and network with industry peers on a level they would not normally be afforded the opportunity to do.’

Business of Design has, over the course of three conferences – one in 2014 and two in 2015 – hosted more than 750 delegates, with 90 of South Africa’s top designers, business experts and industry consultants now forming part of its growing network of alumni speakers.

‘Business of Design left me feeling inspired, energised and crystal clear as to what needs to be done to take my business to the next level,’ says alumni delegate Bridget Henderson of fashion label Cowgirlblues. Product and furniture designer Louw Roets, who attended the last conference in 2015, adds: ‘I gained more than half a notepad full of new ideas, solutions and inspiration, and made great business connections too.’

Says Business of Design co-founder Trevyn McGowan of Source and Southern Guild, ‘It’s been extremely rewarding to witness the results that have come out of these conferences, including creative collaborations sparked during our networking drinks sessions, and business growth that we’ve seen when delegates apply lessons learned. Even our own company, which has been going for more than 12 years, has gained valuable new strategies from these talks.’

The two full days include over 16 talks, with each day ending in a two-hour networking drinks session from 5-7pm, where delegates and speakers are afforded the opportunity to exchange ideas and business cards over a few drinks. ‘That’s one of the great appeals of Business of Design,’ says McGowan. ‘It’s not a stuffy, formal conference, but rather a friendly, welcoming environment where long-term relationship-building is as important as business growth.’

2016 speakers include (see the Business of Design website for each city’s speakers):

Robbie Brozin & Tracy Lynch / Nando’s                                      The Designer Link

Stefan Antoni / SAOTA, ARRCC, OKHA Interiors                      Local Goes Global

Luke Dale-Roberts / The Test Kitchen, Pot Luck Club        Staying at the Forefront

Ian Fuhr / Sorbet Group                                                                                           Building Brand Loyalty

Emilie Gambade / ELLE                                                                           The Rise of African Fashion

Mike Abel & Robert Grace / M&C Saatchi Abel                    The Power of the Idea

Trevyn McGowan / Source, Southern Guild, GUILD                              Working the Business of Design

Heather Moore / Skinny laMinx                                                                        Social Media Case Study

Sean Mahoney / StudioMAS                                                                                 Designing for the Environment

Andile Dyalvane / Imiso Ceramics                                                                   Becoming an Icon

Andrea Kleinloog / Anatomy Design                                                              Partnerships: Finding the Right Fit

Conn Bertish / Cancer Dojo                                                                                  Using Design Thinking to Affect Change

Cathy O’Clery / Platform Creative Agency, 100% Design South Africa                         State of the Nations: Africa’s Design Pull

Eitan Stern / Legalese                                                                                              The Changing Nature of Business Relationships

Kate Schrire / The Creamery                                                                                The Neighbourhood Success Story

Paul Ballen / Paul’s Homemade Ice-Cream                                               Keys to Success: A Story of Authenticity

Paul Dalton / Leapfrog Projects                                                                         Business Strategy: A Process of Design
Anthea Poulos, Andrew Berry, Nicholas Christowitz & Katlego Maponyane / The Bread

Case Study: Activating Your Brand

Rex Bowden / Catalyze                                                                          International Trade Shows:

The Prep Work

Trevor Wolfe /                                                                                            Feedback 2.0 – Redefining the Creative Review Process and its Impact on Creative Output

More speakers to be announced.
Johannesburg                     17-18 August (The Forum, Bryanston)
Cape Town                             23-24 August (Inner City Ideas Cartel, 71 Waterkant Street)

Early bird discount (until 30 June)             R3 300
Business of Design alumni                             R3 000
Students                                                             R2 500
Full price (after 1 July)                                    R3 950

SACAP & IID member discounts and CPD credits apply. Group discounts for five or more.

For more information, speaker images and interview requests please contact:
Tracy Lynn Chemaly | | +27 (0) 21 461 2856

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