Friday, March 7, 2014

2014 Design Blogger's Conference Recap

The 2014 Design Blogger's Conference in Atlanta was a tremendous success for me personally.  I gained incredible knowledge about blogging best practices, met design celebrities, met many design idols that I've known in the cyber-world for a few years but had never met in person, and networked and cocktailed my bu** off! 

Design Blogger's Conference Stage

The Design Conference was presented by Design Sherpa for Interior Design Bloggers and held from March 2-4, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta.  This was the 4th annual Design Blogger's Conference and it is the only one available specifically for interior design bloggers.  In the past, the event has been held in Los Angeles.  This year, they decided to move coasts to Atlanta.  It was the most widely attended conference yet with over 430 design bloggers, and I was proud to be among them! 

We were exposed to incredibly talented speakers, including Jeffrey Alan Marks (Bravo's Million Dollar Decorators), Candice Olson (HGTV's Divine Design and Candice Tells All,),  Timothy Corrigan (hailed by Architectural Digest as "Today's Tastemaker" and top 100 designers). 

Beth Greene of Kravet and Jeffrey Alan Marks | Candice Olson
Beth Greene with Kravet interviewed Jeffrey Alan Marks.  He scooped on behind the scenes of Bravo's Million Dollar Decorators.  Jeffrey admitted that there was a competitiveness between the women and the men designer's on the set.  His advice was that design should be a 'little bit of the (client) and a little bit of the (designer)."   I will share the story of our meeting soon but here's a picture of me with Jeffrey. 

Candice Olson of HGTV's Divine Design expressed that color is one of the most powerful tools a designer has in their tool box (yes!).  She also discussed how lighting plays a very important part of her design process (more to follow in a separate post). 

Timothy Corrigan
Design extraordinaire, Timothy Corrigan shared photos of his French Chateau, Château du Grand-Lucé and inspired me in describing his pathway to becoming such a celebrity and luxury designer.  PS- he had no formal design training- a man after my own heart. 
Timothy Corrigan's French Estate Photo Courtesy of Architectural Digest
Timothy also launched his new line of Schumacher fabrics and rugs that very day. 

 I was finally able to connect - in person - with fellow design bloggers that I've followed for years, many with whom I've established a true friendship beyond blogging.  
 Here's me with a handful of talented ladies, Lori May of Lori May Interiors, Amanda of Amanda Carol Interiors, Me of Vivid Hue Home, Sherry Hart of Design Indulgence and Jennifer Schoenberger of Vreeland Road .

Another very valuable part of the conference was hearing from design bloggers who have become extremely successful in this arena.  They shared the secrets to their success (in many cases be authentic and stick with it).  But of course, it's also much more than this.  

All of the speakers offered invaluable advice.  Some of the most memorable advice, for me, came from the following: 

1. Jan Bills of Two Women and a Hoe said  "let your brand bloom organically."  Give people what they want and make things easy for people to see. 

2. The incredible Paloma Contreras of La Dolce Vita suggested treating your blog like a magazine, complete with an editorial calendar.  She suggested establishing a series on your blog will allow users to know what to expect from your blog. 

Courtesy of La Dolce Vita blog

3. New England Home's Lynda Simonton urged bloggers to photograph your work!  Visual images are the key to success.  Even if it costs a bit more to have your work professionally photographed, it will pay off in the end. 

4. Michael Bruno, the founder of 1st dibs, gave a wonderful synopsis of 1st dibs and how it was created.  Look for a future post. 

Toma Clark Haines of The Antiques Diva (Courtesy of The Antiques Diva)

5. I was so inspired by  Toma Clark Haines of The Antiques Diva.  She described how she finally said "yes" to shopping for other people.  This changed everything.  Before then, she used to help her friends out of the kindness of her heart because she loved antiquing so much.  Her advice, "don't get so focused doing what it is you are doing that you overlook an opportunity to do something else." 

The networking opportunities were tremendous.  Each night, there was another beautifully executed post-party.  This gave us an opportunity to visit design showrooms and see elaborate spaces. 

This experience was a huge metamorphosis for me.  I have a greater understanding of where I want to take Vivid Hue and I have learned some excellent tips in order to get there.  I will be sharing these in future posts. 

I am grateful for this experience.  Look to good things to come from Vivid Hue Home.  If you're a new reader and you've found me from the #dbc2014 please follow me!  I will follow you back. 


Beth of designPOST Interiors said...

Thanks so much for this recap- it is so nice to hear these tie bits since I couldn't be there! Sounds like the best time and like you have an exciting year ahead!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the shout-out in your post and reminder of a wonderful event!

Wishing you all the best, Heather!

May all your gardens grow,

Unknown said...

Thanks for the update...I attended the very first Design Bloggers Conference and really enjoyed it. Just a side note, I think that Divine Design with Candace Olsen is/was on HGTV, not Bravo.

Vel Criste said...

Wonderful Heather! Glad it was fruitful and fun for you! Looking forward to hearing more of what you learned and seeing it applied in your blog dear!

Jill Sorensen-LiveLikeYou said...

What a great recap. I've never been to one and never met fellow blogger, always so buried with work! But this post inspired me to go to the next one!! Thanks for sharing.

Roberto said...

There were such a long line for the bathroom and the bathroom was relatively small for the place. Anyway I had a great time here, glad we found this place by accident.
venue Houston