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Configura announces dates, location of 10th annual CET Designer User Conference

Conference heads back to Las Vegas where it all began a decade ago

Configura, maker of CET Designer space-planning software, will hold its 10th annual CET Designer User Conference Nov. 8-9, 2017, at The Venetian-Palazzo resort and conference center in Las Vegas. Pre-conference welcome events will be held the evening of Nov. 7.

The conference returns to the city where it first started a decade ago.

"Each year, we ask our attendees, 'Where should we hold next year’s conference?' This year, Las Vegas won the popular and sentimental votes,” Configura Vice President of Global Customer Experience Tracy Lanning said. “We’re excited to be heading back to the vibrancy that’s Las Vegas!"

The CET Designer User Conference is for contract furniture dealership and A&D interior designers, dealer IT professionals, office-furniture dealer management and facilities managers.

The annual conference is a blend of educational sessions led by CET Designer “power users” and Configura team members plus events designed for networking, fun and relaxation.

"It’s so much more than learning about the software: Designers share business best practices and design strategies in a spirit of camaraderie. Our event draws incredibly creative people who support each other," Lanning said.

Past keynote presenters and speakers have featured such notables as Contract magazine Designers of the Year Joey Shimoda and Primo Orpilla; renowned color expert Laura Guido-Clark who founded Project Color Corps™; Design the Life You Love author and product designer Ayse Birsel; 2016 Interior Design magazine Hall of Fame inductee Cheryl Durst, who is executive vice president and chief executive officer of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA); American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Fiser; and Debbie Millman, host of the radio show and podcast Design Matters.

Putting people together

As with the 2016 event, the 2017 conference will include a Developer Conference, bringing CET Designer users together with the developers that create the software. Also preceding the conference will be Configura’s biannual Partner Meeting, with many partners staying on for the combined conferences. Manufacturing partners who have invested in Configura’s solution include Steelcase, Haworth, Herman Miller, Teknion, KI, Inscape, OFS Brands and a host of others in the Americas and Europe. Configura also has a growing client base in Asia.

"Our conference puts the people who invest in, develop and use our software closely together," Lanning said. "It's an incredible opportunity to connect."

The first conference in 2008 started small, and some of the original attendees have been to every single conference – including CET Designer user Paul Riches. He’s used CET Designer for a decade, first as a design manager for a Steelcase dealership and now for Workplace Resources, a Herman Miller dealer in Vancouver.

"Short of the TED events, I have never attended a convention (software or otherwise) that is so completely and totally focused around the entire user experience. … Configura has built something far more powerful than just a community of users; they've built a tribe," Riches said.

Today, more than 10,000 people around the globe use Configura’s software. The Sweden-based company expects about 500 people to attend the 2017 user conference.

"We’re now a global company – but we like to have fun and reflect on how close-knit we really are as a community of partners, developers and users," Configura Vice President of Business Development Peter Brandinger said.

Configura began holding user conferences a decade ago to serve a small but growing CET Designer user base in North America. The conference remained in Las Vegas for the first five years, growing each year in number of attendees. In its sixth and seventh years, Configura moved the conference to Grand Rapids, Michigan – home of its North American office as well as the hub for many global office furniture manufacturers. Year eight brought the conference to Orlando, and the ninth conference was again in Grand Rapids. The most recent event attracted more than 350 people.

Awards program, CEUs and more

Configura’s annual Best of CET Designer Awards program is held each year in conjunction with the user conference. The program honors the best uses of CET Designer in multiple award categories. The call for entries will be announced this summer.

As in past years, many of the user conference sessions – led by industry leaders, educators, Configura team members and CET Designer users – will enable attendees to earn continuing education units (CEUs) approved by the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC). The CEUs are recognized by such participating associations as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

Configura will announce its 2017 user conference keynote speaker and full lineup later this year. People can learn more and get a flavor for past user conferences at www.configura.com/userconference.

All CET Designer users, developers and partners are welcome to attend. Registration details will be announced soon.

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