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

Celebrating our 11th Twenty/Twenty cohort, the DBA would like to thank all of our past and current mentors and mentees for being part of our mission to tap into the wisdom and vision of the current leaders in the design industry, to inspire the next generation to make more informed decisions about their businesses, their people and themselves. 

Since its launch in 2011, the DBA’s flagship business mentoring programme has worked with more than 350 participants from more than 200 DBA member businesses. DBA Twenty/Twenty pairs rising industry leaders with established design pioneers for a 12-month one-to-one mentoring relationship. Let’s keep going from strength to strength, read on to find out how you can contribute to the success of our future industry leaders or be supported on your journey upwards.

What is the programme all about?

  • It’s designed specifically for individuals who want to take their thinking around business issues to the next level.
  • Aimed at helping rising industry leaders define their goals and grow their business. 
  • A process to inspire a new wave of leaders to make better-informed decisions about their businesses, their people and themselves.

Who mentors?

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 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:

  • Coley Porter Bell
  • Landor
  • Elmwood
  • Rufus Leonard
  • Dragon Rouge
  • Pearlfisher

How will you grow 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.

To know more about the impact DBA Twenty/Twenty can have on your business, take a look at this Mentoring case study

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

  • Applications for 2021 are now open. The deadline for all applications is Friday December 4 at 5pm.
  • Complete a mentee application form to be considered for the programme. We will review and match cohort ten applications throughout Autumn 2019.
  • Standard fee £2,999+vat
  • DBA members £1,750+vat

Here’s what others had to say

Richard Taylor, Managing Director at Brandon Consulting on being a mentee.

Read more about the transformational impact of mentoring from Andy Gray, Founder and Managing Director of StudioLR, in our latest Twenty/Twenty case study.

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

  • We accept mentors throughout the year but cohort 11 kicks off in January 2021.
  • Complete a mentor application form to be considered for the programme.

Here’s what others had to say

“You’ve got to look at being a mentor or a mentee as an opportunity – you should grasp it while you can and no one else does it the way the DBA does. It’s a pretty low investment as a mentor with very high developmental benefits and reward.” – Jonny Westcar, Managing Director at Stormbrands.

Read more about how Jonny’s experience as a mentor presented unexpected curveballs and surprising benefits here.


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.”


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