Design Bloggers Conference 2018

Design Bloggers Conference Los AngelesFrom the moment we drew down the lights on the final session at Design Bloggers Conference (DBC) in Los Angeles early last March, we kicked off our year-long organizing cycle for the upcoming March 4-6, Design Bloggers Conference 2018 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.  Planning alongside the conference’s industry advisory board and Esteem Media’s organizing teams is a uniquely privileged way to spend a year in our industry. I’m lucky that way, with just one lingering question; should DBC be more aptly monikered as a gathering for the entire design industry?

Designers, bloggers, social media marketers, brands, market centers, affiliate marketers, and online platforms in the luxury home design industry tell us every year that DBC is a game changing conference experience for them.  Past attendees’ experiences, from every corner of the industry, reflect new comfort and activity with social media influencers and online opinion leaders after attending DBC. Many go on to ultimately thrive in our industry’s digital transition.  While The Design Bloggers Conference is the place for design bloggers and social media influencers to advance content marketing and business agendas, DBC has purposely evolved under its own broad mission of offering networking and education for building brands and selling design in a digital world.

design bloggerConference name aside, early attendee registration and sponsor participation indicates that DBC 2018 will be the largest since it was launched in 2011, better attended than last year’s record breaking 450 conference delegates. In 2018, DBC will showcase more sessions and speakers than it ever has; 26 educational opportunities and 43 speakers and panelists.  We added a must-attend closing gala party and Champagne tasting for all conference attendees and sponsors on Tuesday evening at a prominent LA designer’s private residence, some down time to visit showrooms on La Cienega, eight different breakout sessions on Sunday afternoon, and an extra keynote slot on Sunday evening before the first networking cocktail party hosted by Benjamin Moore.

Besides our always popular design industry rock star keynotes like this year’s Miles Redd, Jamie Drake, Michelle Workman, Mat Sanders and one more yet to be announced star, the agenda incorporates a wider array of digital design marketing strategies.  Leading speakers on affiliate marketing, paid acquisition on Instagram and Pinterest, designer/photographer collaboration, ways to make Houzz transformative, strategies for using social media to get the attention of design broadcast networks like HGTV, SEO secrets for small businesses, creating multiple digital revenue streams, how to plan for publishing a book or securing your own line, social media etiquette, converting Instagram communities to clients, trends and new opportunities in traditional design media, online influencer marketing, cause marketing, design blogging 101, and millennial marketing will take the stage.  Hours of networking, sponsor interaction, and after-parties round out the experience.

We have had to run faster every year to keep up with the digital transformation in design marketing and consumer purchase patterns.  We hope you take some time perusing the conference website to see why you should join your industry colleagues in Beverly Hills in early March 2018.  We organize the conference as a safe and productive experience for design professionals to grasp topics and tactics that can sometimes feel uncomfortable to the many of us that are primarily passionate and creative design professionals, not digital marketers.  See you in LA?

Duralee Sponsors Design Bloggers Conference Scholarship!

duralee-250The Design Bloggers Conference Scholarship will be awarded to five worthy bloggers, and give them the opportunity to attend the conference to expand their knowledge and networks in the design blogoshphere. The scholarship was established to assist serious bloggers that otherwise could not attend and are in the process of building their businesses, reputations, and brands.

The Rules

  • Design Bloggers who have been regularly posting for six months or more are eligible
  • Applicants are asked to describe their blog, their financial need pertaining to the conference, and why they are deserving of sponsorship
  • The scholarships will be awarded through a committee selection process based on the above mentioned focus criteria
  • Winners of the scholarship will receive a free conference pass.
  • We will accept applications for the scholarships through February 8, 2016
  • Winners will be announced on February 15, 2016
  • The winners will also be invited to submit a guest blog to appear on the Design Bloggers Conference website profiling how they got started, their blog, and their aspirations.
  • Entries should be sent via email to [email protected].

The Design Bloggers Conference will take place from March 6-8, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!  We appreciate Durable for expanding the scope of bloggers and designers that can now attend this defining event.

More than a resource, Duralee is a destination for your design. Be it whimsical, modern, traditional, or eclectic. We are passionate about our products, from our fresh fabric and cutting-edge trim options to our innovative furniture frames and drapery hardware. Sophisticated, yet youthful and fun, the Duralee design aesthetic is versatile with an ageless appeal. We understand that designers are looking towards what is new, what is next, and what is unique, and we strive to bring inspiration to the marketplace. If it is distinctive, diverse and dramatic, it’s Definitely Duralee!

To find out more, visit Duralee’s website.

Evolution of Design Blogging and Home Design Digital Marketing

HomeDesign_DMS_StackedBy Adam Japko

When we announced the Design Bloggers Conference in 2010, we pivoted on a vision to virtually connect design bloggers and social media wonks in-real-life with education and networking that advanced everyone’s content marketing and blogging expertise.  As a blogger in the wine industry, I took deep satisfaction contributing something useful to brethren content creators spending countless hours banging away on keyboards.

Now with the announcement of the Digital Marketing Summit, scheduled alongside the Design Bloggers Conference during Home & Garden Digital Marketing Week in Atlanta, we are driven by the inescapable imperative to create web and social content, participate in niche design networks and marketplaces, dive into e-commerce, drive new leads,  and build digital brands and audiences. Our vision remains unchanged; to offer education and networking for staying ahead of game changing developments in the evolution of traditional home design marketing and media.

DBC-FB-16In 2011 the Design Bloggers Conference became a quick fixture on the industry calendar, right in the midst of a golden era for self publishers in design and other luxury industries.  Motivated design pros and enthusiasts were building personal brands, growing well established design businesses, launching design careers, inking deals for namesake product lines, getting book deals, and more.  “Cinderella” success stories about monetizing larger-than-life reputations built through blogging turned abundant, and we watched our Design Bloggers Conference grow as a positive catalyst in the middle of it all. 

As we organized these conferences each year, I started understanding that the “Design Blog” was becoming an integrated piece of every forward thinking design professional’s marketing program.  Celebrity bloggers were joined by thousands of designers, luxury showrooms and retailers, product vendors, architects, and other home design professionals. The “Cinderella Effect” of building rock-star blogger brands starting giving way to regular blog content for SEO advantages and web search discovery for the whole industry. And our little Design Bloggers Conference got bigger because it was no longer just for the dedicated full-time design blogger, but instead it was about the entire design industry’s marketing instincts and need for education.

gbc1Even more has changed than just that.  The way content is created and consumed has advanced to short and more visual formats.  Image and video content found its place and built audiences. Wayfair.com, Houzz, Chairish, One Kings Lane, Viyet, Horchow, Serena & Lilly, Blu Dot and countless other digital design platforms and marketplaces proliferated as consumers enjoyed these new online experiences and design trade pros necessarily adopted these environments as part of their client service, sourcing and marketing initiatives.

With all this, blogging is far from dead.  Our Garden and Design Blogger Conferences, similarly represented in this fascinating piece at PROBLOGGER on How Blogs are changing and How You Can Stay on Topremain anchors of the Home Design Digital Marketing Week.  They offer cutting edge ways to deal with new subscriber patterns, affiliate programs, changes in SEO guidelines, integration of social tools, and paths to monetization.

Home and Garden Digital Marketing Week, which will now include the Home Design Digital Marketing Summit, is education and networking reflecting the metamorphosis of online marketing for successful home design industry professionals.  We are as giddy and eager as were were in 2010 when we brought our Design Blogger Conference to life. You can register now at discounts if you want.  Or, you can ask me more at ajapko at esteemmedia dot com.  See you in Atlanta in March!

Designers That Blog Are Golden

By: Adam Japko

I am relieved to only be slightly confused about the intensity of sponsor and exhibitor support for the expanded community of design bloggers and social media enthusiasts that came to Atlanta in 2015 to attend the Design Bloggers Conference. I once thought I fully grasped why this group of bloggers and content-friendly designers were commanding increasing levels of attention from luxury home design marketers. Until these past few weeks, I had totally overlooked one significant underlying factor; designers that blog are “golden.”

Blogger, design, interior design

In the beginning (circa 2005) when luxury-minded citizens with a penchant for design and designers with an aptitude for content creation launched their blogs, stars were born and audiences were built.  The sheer power of blogger reach and influence were fascinations to public relations professionals and traditional media practitioners.  Slowly, and just on their heels, national brands and manufacturers started catching on, realizing that the power of design professional content marketing is a force to leverage.

We always suspected that bloggers and social media mavens could move the needle for national brands….simply by looking at their audience size and reach.  To support that point, here is some profile data I shared in Atlanta about the attendees of the 2015 Design Bloggers Conference compared to national shelter magazines:

Design Bloggers vs. Traditional Media

While blogs turned into launching pads for some early movers, savvy marketing-oriented designers determined to be part of the future got active.  In the face of the worst housing driven economic crisis in modern history, serious interior designers dove into blogging and social networking en masse to try and power their businesses and networks.  While audiences were created and a few more star power brands launched, something new was happening; design professionals creating content witnessed associated business growth and felt the power of these newly found digital marketing tools.

Design Bloggers Conference

Web traffic grew for designers that hosted once lifeless websites, other design pros starting sharing and quoting designers’ blogs, and everyone had a story or two to tell about projects they landed through social media and blogging.  Here is some data from HubSpot comparing businesses that blog with businesses that don’t blog:

Businesses that blog are successfulStill, I was overlooking a critical piece about what the design blogger community has become today and why designers and bloggers that come to the Design Bloggers Conference are so attractive to brands and manufacturers.  The fact is, these designers are serious about their businesses. More than most.  They invest in marketing. With hundreds of design events attracting throngs of designers at all levels of experience, commitment, and staying power…..design bloggers are different and show it by making the ultimate marketing commitment of time and money over the long haul.

2015 design bloggers conference

Designers that blog are golden; to themselves and the brands they work with.  They outlast downturns and prosper in strong economic periods.  They will move the most product for luxury design brands and manufacturers now, and over the long haul. They think big, invest in their businesses, and market hard while staying open to new technology and shifts in the ways business is conducted.  A really straight forward McKinsey article on business longevity declares the “causes of business demise—of a failure to endure—are well documented at a general level. They include…above all an inability to deal with new, often disruptive, technological innovations.” Design businesses that blog and work the right social networks have the characteristics of successful business operators…the top 10% of all performers in their industry.

That’s the part I was missing about why the Design Blogger Conference community is so attractive to our sponsors; attendees are characteristic and part of the top 10% of of the interior design community.  Sponsors always find a way to tell us that our attendees are at a quality level they don’t find in similar concentrations at other design events.  Understanding that designers that blog are golden, makes it much clearer why brands and manufacturers want to stay close to them.