A few weeks ago, I traveled to Dallas, along with managing editor Katie Kervin, for our CitySCENE: Dallas event at Chino Chinatown, which was selected in the 10th annual HD Awards earlier this year for the special Judges Award for Urban Renewal. Because I’m a jetsetter, I was only the southern city for 24 hours, yet it was just enough time to see how prolific the Dallas design scene is.
Before the event, I got to sit in on our roundtable discussion, where I gleaned some interesting information from the attendees and sponsors. (Thank you to Carnegie, Covington Contract, Durkan, Fairmont Designs, Global Allies, Grand Rapids Chair Company, Metrie2, RH Contract, Shaw Hospitality Group, and Soho Myriad for sponsoring our CitySCENE event.)
Here are the five takeaways from the roundtable discussion:
1. Hospitality development in Texas, especially Houston and Dallas, is proliferating. There’s more renovating and repositioning in Dallas than there has been in years.
2. Don’t call it a hospitality comeback … or do. The U.S. is certainly having one, especially in the Southwest and in Texas cities of Odessa and McAllen.
3. With hotel development growing, it’s been a coup for designers who now have a choice about where they want to work—a stark difference from the recession when designers working for bigger firms either had to stay in their positions or leave the market altogether. Mid- to senior-level designers have options, proving its a great time for new hires.
4. Recent graduates also are finding it easier to break into the industry and jump right in to major projects. They are also working harder, but to really thrive in the design world they have to act as if they have five to seven years of experience when they may only have one to five.
5. We will never stop talking about or trying to appease Millennials. Hotels are designed for them and design firms need them to prosper. But it can be hard to connect with and build relationships with the young demographic. They’re loyal until they’re not.