Jonathan Sands’ ambition to increase the Design Business Association’s team members, now he is “boss”, is admirable, and his enthusiasm and commitment are evident.
However, the prospect of being signed up with such a club can only be appealing if the fixtures secretary has done his job and the “players” get a game. It’s no good the team boss complaining that the players are not turning out if there are no games organised.
In fact, speaking of games, there is a tournament taking place in Las Vegas in November. The bÃªte noire of the design industry, the British Design Initiative, has put together a neat little six-aside team; nicely balanced, well talented, and has pitched in with a 300m2 stand at Comdex, everything signed and sealed.
Meanwhile, back in the dressing room, the DBA has been in close discussion with the Department of Trade and Industry. It has decided after 18 months of deliberation that it will go to the tournament and has started to contact its membership. Sands has stated that he would like DBA events to be restricted to members. This could mean that only DBA members will be able to play in the Comdex team.
The BDI, knowing that export initiatives through the DTI are open to all consultancies, is not new to these international events. In the 21 months since the squad was formed it has played in two European tournaments in Finland and Portugal, one in Brazil and one in Korea. It has three more to look forward to before the end of 1995 in Poland, Korea and, of course, Las Vegas. In 1996 we are hoping to take the boys to Belgium, Sweden and South Africa.
I do not believe that consultancies are looking for elitism without results. I believe they are looking for effectiveness. Excluding companies from the export activities will not increase a desire to become a member of the DBA until the DBA delivers some tangible services in order to justify membership.
An 11m2 DBA information stand at Comdex at a cost of 1500 per consultancy is not the ideal case study.
Export research manager
British Design Initiative