This year the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association (DPHA) will hold its annual conference in San Jose, California on October 14 – 16. This is a premier event for plumbing and hardware professionals and the focus is on education. This year the event has expanded to include professional designers and architects.
The people who attend DPHA tend to be involved and passionate about the industry. There are three main member segments; Dealer (showroom), Manufacturer and Manufacturers Representative. In addition there are some members from other industries, like marketing or technology that focus their work on the kitchen and bath industry.
The conference centers around the product showcase where DPHA manufacturers exhibit their latest products. Because the attendance at DPHA is primarily dealers and other professionals, manufacturers are encouraged to present new or even prototype products. The conference is a more intimate setting which allows one plenty of time to talk with vendor representatives about products, design, manufacturing processes and any other subjects.
In addition to the product showcase there are several educational classes or “breakout sessions”. These cover a range of subjects including marketing, website development and branding. There are also roundtable sessions which allow the various member groups to bring their diverse view points to the table. Last year we had a wonderful round table discussion with a group of designers and architects in South Florida.
The annual DPHA conference is a wonderful opportunity for members but why is DPHA important to the public? Why should you care whether the store you buy from is a DPHA member or not? Because DPHA membership is an indication that a business understands that success in today’s market takes real commitment to the customer. They understand that to provide real customer service takes effort. One must continue to educate one’s self and staff to understand the market and their customer. DPHA members are the ones asking “How can we improve?”” What can we do better?”
Another excellent benefit of the DPHA conference is the opportunity it gives members to network. DPHA has become a real community of professionals. So again, why should the public care? Because it means that the DPHA associate you are working with has a whole community of experts at their disposal. We recently had an issue with a client who had an old unidentified deck tub faucet that was leaking. It was on a marble deck with a custom tile tub that the client very much did not want to wreak. Using the DPHA site we were able to find someone who knew not only what the product was but also where to get the parts to fix it.
This year we are very excited to be joined at conference by ASID designers and architects. In addition to the product showcase these professionals will have their choice of four approved CEU classes in the afternoon and will attend the Friday evening cocktail reception in the product showcase. If you are interested in attending please download the DPHA CEU Course Flyer . There is no charge but you do need to register.
While the conference is not open to the public you may visit the DPHA website to find information about DPHA members in your area. Check the “Homeowners” tab to find useful information for your home or project. You can also find out more about DPHA from the Facebook pages for the national organization or the local Northern California group.