Business of Design returns to Johannesburg and Cape Town in October. The two-day conference that has had a positive impact on South African businesses since its inception in 2014, is led by some of the country’s top business experts and design professionals. While being inspirational, the conference also offers practical tools to affect immediate growth.

Business of Design’s 2017 lineup includes talks by Weylandts founder Chris Weylandt, Silo District architect Macio Miszewski, BlackNation Media co-founder Mduduzi Simelane, award-winning furniture designer David Krynauw and Rocking the Daisies co-founder Craig Bright, with talks covering topics such as ‘Creating Engaging Experiences for Brands’, ‘Scaling Up: taking your business to the next level’ and ‘Taking a Local Brand Global’. Over 15 presentations offer relevant information to an audience looking to transform the way they work within the South African and global context.

‘Business of Design appeals to anyone who feels they need a business boost,’ says programme manager Tracy Lynn Chemaly. ‘We’ve had over 1000 delegates in both cities over the course of four conferences, and they range from entrepreneurs and business owners to architects, marketing managers, retail staff, web designers and event planners. A great testament to what we are doing is that many of our delegates return year on year for more lessons and inspiration.’ Tracy explains how the alumni network has grown, with many success stories of collaboration and exchange coming from the networking sessions held at the end of both days of the conference. ‘Even our speakers benefit from this interaction,’ she says.

The network of alumni speakers now spans 116 of South Africa’s top designers, business experts and industry consultants who have provided delegates with an insight into what it is to grow a successful business in this country. Says 2015 speaker Natasha Sideris, founder of Tashas: ‘I was so impressed by the quality of the event, the speakers and the sessions. It is an inspiring conference that brings together great minds, great ideas and great people, providing an amazing platform for creative entrepreneurs to learn, share and grow.’

Alumni speaker and two-time delegate Abigail Bisogno, owner of Spice Route, agrees. ‘It is very inspiring to be exposed to so many talented South Africans in such a variety of disciplines and fields. For me, the most beneficial part of Business of Design has been the networking. Some very large deals have transpired and I have found a support group that I can call on in my new-found career as an entrepreneur.’

Founded by The Guild Group’s Trevyn and Julian McGowan, and Platform Creative Agency’s Laurence Brick and Cathy O’Clery, the annual conference has become a not-to-be-missed event on South Africa’s business and design calendars.

2017 speakers include (see the Business of Design website for each city’s speakers):

  • Ann Nurock | Africa Partner Relationship Audits and Management | Case Studies and Trends from Cannes International Festival of Creativity
  • Chris Weylandt | Founder and CEO Weylandts | The Basics of Retail
  • Craig Bright | Co-owner Vic Falls Carnival, Co-founder Rocking the Daisies | Less is More: refining your core focus
  • Dave Scott (The Kiffness) | Meme-generator, Planet-shaker, Thought-leader and Music-maker | Going Viral on Social Media
  • David Krynauw | Furniture Designer | Material Ambition
  • Gordon Cook | Co-founder Vega School | Rethinking Almost Everything About How Business Should Operate
  • Hannerie Visser and Marc Nicolson | Founder Studio H and Founder Thinking | Creating Engaging Experiences for Brands
  • Jeremy Stewart | Founder and Executive Director Source IBA | The Art of Presentation
  • Josef Talotta | Executive Head: Commercial, Retail & Precinct Development South Point | Curating a City
  • Justin Letschert | CEO Bio-Oil | Taking a Local Brand Global
  • Macio Miszewski | Co-founder VDMMA | Reimagining a Forgotten Silo District: the architecture of an urban precinct
  • Mduduzi Simelane | Co-founder BlackNation Media | The Future of Content Creation in the SADC Region
  • Nicola Cooper | Trend researcher, Analyst and Cultural Strategist | Trends That Shake Businesses
  • Yehuda Raff | Founder and Director iPartners Africa | Scaling Up: taking your business to the next level

More speakers to be announced

Cape Town: 11-12 October (Red & Yellow, 97 Durham Ave, Salt River)
Johannesburg: 18-19 October (Vega School, 444 Jan Smuts Ave, Randburg)

Early bird (before 21 August) – R3 400
Business of Design alumni – R3 000
Students – R2 500
IID and SACAP members – R3 500
Full price (after 21 August) – R3 950

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

Visit: | @busofdesign