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Over the last five years, as the interior design community has opened its arms to me and vice versa, it has become evident over and over that designers love to congregate and discover, learn from one another and with each other, and drink wine. With this in mind, Susan Dickenson, EIC of Home Accents Today, Waynette Goodson, EIC of Exterior Design, and yours truly have crafted the pilot Designer ExperieNCe, a 2 1/2 day symposium (August 22-24) in Greensboro and High Point, North Carolina, tailored for the trade. 

Designed to foster a creative and collaborative environment, the Designer Experience is where an intimate group of interior designers can learn, network and explore a familiar part of the world in a fresh, adventurous way. While our days are most certainly full, the pace is not frenetic like what you experience at Market. The cost of $495 includes all planned meals and cocktail events, edutainment, and transport during the conference. Overnight accommodations (we have secured a super rate of $219/night per room at the Proximity) and travel to and from Greensboro are not included. Here's our agenda:



Day 1: 2 pm - bedtime


The event officially begin at 2 PM at the Proximity Hotel, our home base, speakeasy, and yoga studio for the conference. After an editors' welcome,  the owners of the Proximity will tour us around and discuss what it took to build North Carolina's first LEED certified hotel. At 4, Libby Langdon takes the floor and discusses her journey into the design world. If you have not met Libby, oh are in for a big treat. At 6 the cocktail hour begins, followed by dinner and musical entertainment.

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Day 2: 7:00 - bedtime


We start the day virtuously with group yoga and a healthful breakfast. First stop is a mid-century education and factory tour of Thayer Coggin, a leader of the furniture style. Second, is a celebration of organic and the latest wood finishing techniques, along with an authentic Barbecue lunch, at the Phillips Collection warehouse. Then onto Lexington's Artistica brand for dialogue with Robert Yount, CA native and world traveler. Dinner will be at Revolution Mill, a former cotton mill and prime example of adaptive reuse. Back at the hotel, we'll retreat to the BlueBell Garden for a nightcap.

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Day 3: 7:00 to mid-afternoon


We greet the day with gentle yoga and then drill down into social media and digital marketing with the Progressive Business Media digital team. Our last group activity - tour, farm to table lunch, and lighting CEU -- takes place at the scenic Goat Lady Dairy.

During our time together, Susan, Waynette and I (along with PBM's professional photo and video department) will all be documenting the Designer Experience for our respective publications and social media. It's going to be a fun, informative, and unforgettable ride. 

A big thank you goes out to our sponsors for helping to make this happen: Hooker Furniture, Thayer Coggin, Universal Furniture, Phillips Collection, Lexington Home Brands, Currey & Company, Worlds Away and Crypton.

The event is limited to 75 interior design professionals. To register, visit or call Heather at 336-605-1061.

Photos courtesy of: Goat Lady Dairy, Proximity, Thayer Coggin, Goat Lady Dairy.