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8th June 2017 Vilnius, Lithuania
09.00-17.00 CET

BEDA is the authority for design in Europe. Once a year, we bring those that operate in and around the design industry together to focus on a big issue. In 2017, this one-day forum asks the question: What is the future of design support across Europe?

Context and introduction
The design support landscape across Europe is extensive, extending from professional bodies on the one hand, to government funded agencies on the other. Yet the context within which they all operate is changing fast. Organisations that represent the industry are seeing their memberships decline and with that their income. More and more pressure on governments to cut costs has seen the funding to design support agencies and councils decrease dramatically. Where does this leave the design industry and its representation in Europe? What could design representation and support look like five years from now and how could be better work towards a shared vision and purpose?

Who should attend
Aimed at Europe’s design associations, professional bodies, publicly-funded design support organisations, national design weeks, design and innovation policy advisors, centres for design and research, and intermediary organisations that work at the interface of universities, companies, government and design professionals.

Areas to be covered during the day include:

Making the case for design to government
A number of countries have successfully brought their creative industries together to form Federation-like organisations that aim to put the views of their members to government to influence policy. What are those views and who is successfully influencing policy?

Alternative sources of revenue

With membership fees and government funding to design organisations on the decline, what alternatives are there to revenue generation that we could be turning to? What can we learn from other industry sectors and what best-practice do we have within BEDA’s membership base? What role could EU funding play? Can sponsorship become a core income line? What role could local public funding play in delivering our programmes? Is collaboration a better way forward?

Member engagement and growth strategies

To better service the design industry, we need to grow our membership, provide them with the right services and learn to lobby government effectively on behalf of our members. How can this work financially in a sector dominated by sole traders and micro businesses who say they can’t afford membership fees? What services do they need? What business models could we look to for success in delivering the right association for the future?

Surviving political change

Promotional organisations can face being closed down in the wake of a change in government following elections and changes in policy direction. How can we be better prepared to weather a political storm? Can we build relevance whatever the political landscape? What should we, and shouldn’t we tackle? And what should our relationships with membership bodies be?

Speakers and further details will be released weekly. We expect the BEDA European Design Forum to be oversubscribed so don’t miss your opportunity to book early.


  • Members of BEDA get two free tickets to this event. Additional tickets can be bought at the member rate of €150.
  • Non-member tickets cost €700 for the day and include drinks and lunch. An early-bird rate of €580 can be secured on bookings received before 8 May 2017.
  • Click here to get your tickets!

*BEDA information and photo.

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