DPHA’s Resurgence Forges Link with Design Community

For the past several years, DPHA has been the epicenter for decorative plumbing and hardware professionals globally. Its inception was inspired by the need in our industry for an association that would be hyper focused on decorative plumbing and hardware while building a network of vendors, representatives and showroom dealers. For many years, the DPHA community has gathered for an annual conference, each year in a different city, to showcase new products and offer educational opportunities to our showroom dealers. The association prides itself on being a community of decorative plumbing and hardware professionals creating a culture of excellence through professional development.

EDUCATION

As we enter a new era where technology continues to be integrated and products evolve at lightspeed, it only makes sense that education be solidified as a cornerstone. What our community discovered during this process was the need to build a bridge with product specifiers. DPHA had already been a reliable source to showroom dealers, who then educated specifiers. But herein lies the issue of this process in that specifiers do not always know where to turn to for the best resource for knowledge, thus yielding them to take initiative to search on their own.

DPHA responded by filling the gap with a partnership with CEU Events, a platform dedicated to optimizing the efficiency of the CEU fulfillment process for the design community. In addition, the CEU Events platform has finally created a single source center for vendors, representatives, showroom dealers and designers to connect. For the first time, DPHA offered a CEU (presented by CEU Events) at their annual conference in Seattle, attracting over 60 architects and designers from the local market. Those in attendance were also present at the product showcase, which allowed vendors to connect directly with the specifiers.

Another first for DPHA was conducting a panel discussion where a panel of 4 Interior Designers sat on stage to answer questions from the DPH community on how to forge a stronger connection. The engagement was so high that there was not enough time to get through all the questions and the dialogue was certainly powerful.

PRODUCT SHOWCASE

These days, it seems like the market is saturated with frequent product showcases hosted by different venues. Much different in the past where there were only a few and attending all of them was almost a no brainer. Now we are left with having to navigate which showcases to attend? Where vendors should exhibit? Who dealers need to network with? How to best connect with the design community?

The variables to consider typically are: cost, strategy and ROI. More vendors have been exhibiting at design fares in an attempt to connect with more designers, which in turn attracts attendance from showroom dealers and representatives. I have personally attended design fares in the last 2 years and my conclusion is that the strategy to connect with designers checks out, but not so sure about the cost and ROI.

DPHA will always be relevant as it is the only association hyper focused on decorative plumbing and hardware with the commitment to being the best source for knowledge. With a newly forged link to the design community, vendors no longer have to spread themselves thin by exhibiting at multiple shows in order to connect with all their customers. As we continue to move forward, DPHA aims to continue to build this bridge with the design community and ultimately become the premier source for vendors, representatives, showroom dealers and specifiers to connect.