Events & Training

Whether junior designer or design leader, account handler or MD everyone benefits from fresh perspective, knowledge-share, new insights and debate.

Our events and training courses are renowned within the industry for their quality, relevance and proven capability to boost the confidence and performance of individuals and teams.

From lively networking events to skills development workshops, from in-depth business growth programmes to stimulating round-tables, our extensive range of events and training has something to offer every member of your team, across all roles and levels within your business.

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Twenty/Twenty Mentoring

Since its launch in 2011, the DBA’s flagship business mentoring programme has worked with more than 250 DBA members. DBA Twenty/Twenty pairs rising industry leaders with established design pioneers for a 12-month one-to-one mentoring relationship.

Designed specifically for individuals who want to take their thinking around business issues to the next level, with the ultimate aim of helping them define their goals and grow their business. DBA Twenty/Twenty inspires a new wave of leaders to make better-informed decisions about their businesses, their people and themselves.

The calibre of mentors involved in the programme is unrivalled in the design industry and we’ll match you with a mentor who fits your specific needs. Utilising the wisdom and vision within the DBA’s membership, mentors are the leaders of the industry, the people who run the businesses you aspire to be like … or at least secretly admire. From DBA member businesses like Landor, Elmwood, Rufus Leonard, Dragon Rouge, and Pearlfisher.

Take your business from good to great. Twenty/Twenty will provide you with a highly experienced design industry confidant. Someone you can discuss issues with, who will help you come to your own conclusions that are right for your business and personal situation.

Find out more: Download the DBA Twenty/Twenty guide.

Become a mentee


Who can apply?

  • MDs, owners and partners of small and medium design agencies, as well as senior team members from medium to large sized agencies. The programme is open to DBA members and non-members.
What you get?
  • One-to-one, face-to-face mentoring from a design industry expert over a 12 month period (a minimum of nine meetings recommended).
  • Full development along with your mentor and other mentees (first training day at end of January, second training day in July).
  • Continuous support from the DBA office and dedicated mentoring consultants as well as extensive guidance and resources.
How to apply
  • Download a mentee application form and return it to Leanne Rupkus, Programmes Manager
  • Applications are currently closed for 2017; we will review and match cohort 8 applications in autumn 2017.
  • Standard fee £2,750
  • DBA members £1,500

Become a mentor


As a DBA mentor you will support an aspiring industry leader as they move their business from good to great. Your role will be to help them expand their ability to answer their own burning questions and support them to create a framework by which they can make fundamental decisions to drive their business forwards.

Give something back and nourish the growing talent in the industry. You’ll be able to take the skills you learn as a mentor back into your own business and make a significant difference to the development of your mentee in a relatively brief space of time.

What’s the commitment?
  • Volunteer your time – a minimum of nine meetings of around an hour with your mentee over 12 months.
  • Full development along with your mentee and other mentors (first training day at end of January, second training day in July).
  • Continuous support from the DBA office and dedicated mentoring consultants as well as extensive guidance and resources.
How to apply

 Top 5 reasons to have a design industry mentor, in the words of our mentees.

  1. Take time to focus on the business.

    “You spend so much time thinking about how to please your clients, and not nearly enough time focusing on the business itself. My mentor was able to put everything into perspective – being reflective yet forward focused at the same time.” 

  2. Be guided by someone more experienced.

    “Finding someone with such a wealth of experience from the design industry who can give an objective viewpoint on you and your business is invaluable.” 

  3. Define your goals.

    “The route to finding my goals was nothing like I expected. It involved being asked challenging questions and my mentor helping me to find the answers for myself.” 

  4. Get energised.

    “I’m back to being excited about my business. I felt the wind had gone out of my sails but since having a mentor I feel happier, richer, invigorated, more confident and more focused.” 

  5. Take your thinking to the next level and grow your business.

    “We’ve seen massive growth in the last 12 months: doubled our staff, implemented new systems and moved to a new office. Part of that was made possible by the tools I picked up from mentoring, and part from the sounding board of experience.”

“The DBA Twenty/Twenty Mentoring programme was a catalyst for both the agency and myself. I am now more confident and focused, and excited about my business.” Dan Moscrop, Owner, Them


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