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Networking is an important skill to master. Although it can sometimes be a chore, it’s a necessity to keep your business running — especially when you’re in a business like mine that works on individual projects and depends on a constant stream of new clients.

Networking doesn’t have to be viewed as a drag, however, because there are ways to make it fun. Take attending a conference or a trade show, for example. These events are great for networking, but they’re also an exciting opportunity for you to see what’s new in your field and possibly implement those ideas into your own business.

One networking event I make sure to attend every year is the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. Coordinated by Architectural Digest, the major U.S. magazine for architecture, design, and lifestyle, the show is considered to be the top design show in the country. It’s culmination of upcoming trends in the interior design, architecture, and fabrication world is always a pleasure for me to attend because it exposes me to design inspirations to use with my clients.


According to a Vimeo video put together by Architectural Digest, one show attendee said “This is one of the places where you can pull inspiration from around the world. It’s an accumulation of everything that comes with designing a space.” He’s right because I’ve gained so much inspiration from the showings that I see every year.

“The AD design show has so much under one roof,” says Giulio Capua, an AD Publisher, and Chief Revenue Officer. “You’ll find things that are modern, you’ll find things that are traditional, and you’ll find things that aren’t anywhere else.”


Not only does the show offer networking opportunities, but it also features educational opportunities as well. Seminars such as “What Will the Market Bear?” and “Who’s Afraid of the Contemporary Art Market?” are geared to help design professionals understand what’s going on in the art world. Some of these seminars are lead by celebrities like Tim Gunn, a fashion consultant, and Mary McDonald, a Los Angeles-based interior designer with a plethora of published books under her belt.

This year’s show will be held from Thursday, March 22 to Sunday, March 25 at Piers 92 and 94, 55th Street at 12th Avenue, New York City, 10019. You can purchase tickets starting on December 2017 here.

Sim Fern is the founder of Upbeat Designs, a Brooklyn-based provider of custom furniture, upholstery, and millwork services for luxury residential and commercial spaces. Sim has always had a passion for furniture, as he’s been working in the business since he was a teenager. What started out as a side job turned into a career for Sim — he’s now transitioned from small projects for homeowners to a wide range of clientele with Upbeat Designs. You can connect with Sim Fern online.