Association of Professional Design Firms (APDF)

Sparked by another conversation I was wondering what experience people might have with APDF. $1595 is quite a jagged little pill to swallow for a small firm.

But, as an old CEO once told me, you have to think and act big to be perceived as being big.

When I was at Evo they where very involved in it. One of the founders of Evo even was head of the APDF for a bit I think (Aaron can expand) and I think they got a lot of valuable information from the organization.

Seems like mostly big firms that are invoved - perhaps due to costs.

I believe Gerard Furbershaw from Lunar was recently the pres.
and prior to him Ellen Randall from Karo here in Vancouver was.

Doesn’t seem like the site has been updated in a while so I’m not sure if it’s still active.

Yes, I did serve as a board member, president and chair over a six year period. There are not many organizations I would put this much effort into. APDF was established to help design firm owners learn fundamental business skills from other member firms and outside experts. It has an openness you will not find anywhere else. I am not aware of any other organization that fills this niche or is as member focused as APDF. I recommend participating in one of their events to experience first hand the benefits it has to offer.

Gerard Furbershaw
Lunar Design

Once I started my own design firm it didn’t take me long to realize that there were two kinds of design firms: the leaders, and the also-rans. You know the leaders; they’re the ones who are always in the news with some cool high profile project. It turns out many of these ”leaders” are APDF members. When I attended my first APDF event I ended up talking the owners and managers from these firms and I was blown away by their willingness to share what they had learned about running a successful design business. I later found out this is what the APDF is all about; leading design firms learning from each other. The APDF believes this is the best way to raise the business performance of individual firms and the industry as a whole. Is that worth $1,495? It was for me.

Tom McLinden, co-founder and Chairman of EVO Design, was last year’s APDF President, and has served on the Board for many years.