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Education for All: Opportunities for Manufacturers, Retailers and Interior Designers

Calling all manufacturers, retailers and interior designers: These educational opportunities could change the way you do business.

Jennifer Pinto
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Remember a long, long time ago when you couldn’t wait for school to be out for the summer? No more quizzes, books or bossy teachers for three whole months! Oh, how times have changed. Turns out adults go to school, too, and (shocker) many of us actually like it. It helps that the coursework we choose to complete as grown-ups is directly related to subjects that fuel our passions and our livelihoods.

As home furnishings professionals, there’s always something new to learn whether it’s a complimentary skill or a fresh approach. Read on for Lighting & Decor’s favorite picks for educational opportunities industry folks won’t want to miss. 

Wayfair 3D University

Who: Manufacturers and suppliers

What: Wayfair’s team of digital experts creates thousands of high-quality 3D imagery every month. It’s faster and cheaper than traditional 2D photography, and, arguably, it looks just as good on a screen. Now, Wayfair is sharing what it knows via an online curriculum that features modeling fundamentals, best-in-class software recommendations and tutorials on how manufacturers can create their own 3D models to promote products on their websites. 

Why: Bypass the jungle of non-relevant 3D modeling resources online, and get straight to it. Wayfair 3D University offers all the home furnishings-specific information manufacturers need to get started. 

Where: Click here to access the Google Doc curriculum via the Wayfair Tech blog

When: Now

How: It’s free. Start with the introduction in Section 0.0, and follow along. Once in the materials, students can jump from section to section. 

Look who’s talking: “We are excited to participate in Wayfair 3D University as one of the first partners in this program,” says Andrea Ware, 3D artist at Top-Line Furniture. “While there are many methods for 3D modeling, capturing more organic shapes and textures, such as soft couches, blankets and pillows require a unique approach. Wayfair 3D University provides a clear standard for creating high-quality models of furniture and decor. We look forward to accelerating our 3D-modeling efforts, allowing us to bring our products to life in new and compelling ways.” 

GREENleaders Certified Sustainability Training

Who: Interior designers, reps, retailers and manufacturers

What: For nearly a decade, this popular opportunity through the Sustainable Furnishings Council has offered a crash course in the sustainability issues as well as practical advice for growing a green home furnishings business. The latest edition features updated information from partners like the World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Alliance, a founder of the U.S. Green Building Council and the Climate Reality Project. 

Why: Our world is a messy place. Politics aside, Planet Earth is in the midst of a climate change crisis, and the prevalence of environmental pollutants means even indoorsy types are at risk. But there’s hope: A greener approach to home furnishings helps minimize carbon emissions, reduces other pollutants and removes unsustainable materials and harmful chemicals from the line of production.

Where: Online

When: The six-hour course is available now through December 31, 2018. 

How: Register here. The course costs $299, but we think it’s money well spent. 

Look who’s talking: “I got a lot more than I expected from the SFC’s GREENLeaders training,” says Lori Dennis of Lori Dennis Inc., an interior design firm Los Angeles. “In a real-world approach, the course showed me how to incorporate what I learned about sustainability into my business practices for immediate bottom line results.”

Insights 2018

Who: Retailers

What: The Home Furnishings Assn. may have just wrapped up its Home Furnishings Leadership Institute, but there’s more in store from our friends at HFA. The upcoming Insights 2018 is a deep dive — engaging speakers, learning labs and panel discussions — into the customer experience and what retailers need to respond to the changing needs of today’s customers. 

Why: Consumers these days: They expect more than ever from the customer experience, and thanks to technology and shopping patterns, HFA experts say that by the year 2025, the landscape will look even more dramatically different. To be ready, retailers need to do their homework. Insights 2018 is a great start. 

When & Where: The conference runs September 14-15, in Minneapolis.

How: Register here. The two-day conference costs $699 for HFA members and $799 for non-members. For more information on pricing, click here


What educational courses are you looking forward to attending this year? Share with us in the comments. 

Photo: Pexels

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