A big part of interior design is sourcing new products and keeping ahead of trends, so when our design team gets the opportunity to attend a networking event such as HiDesign EMEA we jump at the chance!
I’ve attended HiDesign previously and always found it a very well organised, worthwhile event with lots of new Suppliers. The fact that this year it was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia was a bonus – I’d only been to Dubrovnik airport previously so it was great to have time to explore the city itself. It was also HiDesign EMEA’s 10th birthday – congratulations HiDesign!
I arrived early on the Wednesday morning to take full advantage of the pre-event boat trip. We were taken to the Port of Gruž for a sail over to Island Lopud – a small, beautiful island with some old architecture and delicious ice-creams! It was the perfect back-drop to catch up with both familiar and new faces. Then we sailed back to the Old City, Dubrovnik Harbour for a tour – I learnt how Game of Thrones is filmed there (this was the start of my box set obsession!!!) amongst historic facts. That evening was a welcome buffet reception – this was another opportunity to network, and there were lots of new faces there to get to know over tasty food and good wine.
Thursday saw the start of the seminar programme with Dr Graeme Codrington’s talk on Tomorrow’s World Today. I found this fascinating, and made lots of notes of things for us to try and incorporate in our office – I was also glad to note some of the recommendations we already do as a team! After the seminar our Buyer / Supplier meetings started. This is a little bit like speed dating in a networking sense! Each Supplier has 20 minutes to present their product / company to the Buyer; but it’s not a hard sell – it’s a great way to get to know each other and see if there’s a synergy for working together in future. Some people have been to a few of these events, for others it’s their first time. One thing that brings everyone together is being out of the office, focusing completely on making new connections, and enjoying the sunshine at meal times! There was also a Supplier Showcase so you could meet the people you didn’t have meetings scheduled with. On Thursday evening we had a stunning dinner down by the pool, overlooking the ocean and admiring the sunset. It was a fantastic end to the first full day of meetings.
Friday kicked off with another seminar, followed by more meetings. It was really interesting discussing which Suppliers you’d met and been inspired by with the other Designers there. Friday evening saw the farewell drinks reception and dinner on a rooftop in the Old City – a freak thunderstorm caused a bit of a surprise just prior to us arriving, but the team all rallied round and made it an unforgettable evening for the right reasons!
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to HiDesign EMEA 2015. Thanks for inviting Rethink Interiors to attend, and congratulations on celebrating 10 years! We look forward to attending HiDesign again in the future.
For more information on HiDesign EMEA visit www.hidesign-emea.com