INSPIRATIONS PAINT CONFERENCE 2022: Future-proofed franchise

by | Aug 30, 2022

Inspirations Paint held its 18th national conference in Brisbane from August 9 to 11 and is the first time the group has come together as one since 2019. This year’s conference was particularly significant because of the recent acquisition of the franchise by the DuluxGroup on July 1 this year. 

Inspirations Paint Conference 2022

Inspirations Paint Business Manager Robert Guy spoke of the importance of future-proofing today for a better tomorrow.

The conference theme, ‘Future proofed franchise for a stronger tomorrow’, was created to showcase the Inspirations Paint and DuluxGroup partnership and how both entities plan to succeed into the future as more than 300 delegates attended the biannual conference. The attendance also included 33 supplier sponsors which is the second largest attendance in the group’s history.

Business sessions were held over two and half days at Brisbane’s cosmopolitan W Hotel. After a stirring ‘welcome to country’ by song-woman Maroochy from the Turrbal tribe, Inspirations Paint Business Manager, Robert Guy opened the conference with his keynote presentation ‘Future proofing our franchise’.

During his presentation, Mr Guy spoke of the changes in the competitive paint market in Australia and how Inspirations Paint plans to maintain its position and relevancy within the market. A key takeaway of Mr Guy’s presentation was that the group needed to future-proof today so they can profit tomorrow. 

Mr Guy also pointed out that now that the franchisor had been acquired by the DuluxGroup, the franchise stores will continue to be made up of independent business owners, which the new franchisor will support to create a long and sustainable future. Later in the opening session he also outlined the group’s strategy for the next three years.

DuluxGroup Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Houlihan then delivered his presentation, ‘A global view of the future’, where he outlined the growth of DuluxGroup within the Nippon Paint family over the past three years and the benefits this brings to all business units, including Inspirations Paint. 

Mr Houlihan also espoused that Inspirations Pain is now a partner company of DuluxGroup and pointed out that “together we have the power of one team”.

DuluxGroup Chief Executive Officer Patrick Houlihan said Inspirations Paint and the DuluxGroup now have the power of one team.

Trade show 

The Inspirations Paint Trade Show is the jewel in the crown of the conference itinerary with 33 sponsors joining the trade show to provide prizes and giveaways on the night that totalled $33,000.

This year’s theme, ‘That 70s trade show’, was a collection of 70s icons including Bobby Dazzler, KISS, Starsky and Hutch, Jaws, and more. Delegates embraced the theme and produced some of the best costumes ever seen at the trade show. Suppliers also put forward some impressive conference deals for franchisees to take advantage of, which saw some suppliers break sales records on the night.


Another key function of the Inspirations Paint conference was the Franchise of the Year Award and Supplier of the Year Awards, which took place at the Berger Ball and Awards Night on August 9. 

The Franchise of the Year Award celebrates and recognises the top stores within the Inspirations Paint group by evaluating a range of measures including: adoption of retail programs – particularly Inspirations Paint’s loyalty program, ‘Paint Club’, participation in national marketing and promotions and regional advertising, local promotion, store appearance, customer counts, retail and trade sales and overall business performance including profitability. 

This year the Franchise of the Year Award was broken down into three categories based on store size; metro, large regional and small regional with one overall franchise of the year winner.

The Franchise of the Year Award winners were:

Large Regional Winner – Inspirations Paint Coffs Harbour (New South Wales) 

Large Regional Winner and National Franchise of the Year Winner: Mark and Tammie Diener, Inspirations Paint Coffs Harbour with David Gillespie and Robert Guy).

Small Regional Winner – Inspirations Paint Gladstone (Queensland)

Small Regional Winner: Rachel Williams (Inspirations Paint Gladstone) with David Gillespie and Robert Guy.

Metro Winner – Inspirations Paint Parafield (South Australia) 

Metro Winner: Scott Simcock & Kyle Parry (Inspirations Paint Parafield) with David Gillespie and Robert Guy.

Inspirations Paint Coffs Harbour (New South Wales) won overall Franchise of the Year Award which is the second consecutive time that Mark and Tammie Diener have won the award. 

Business Development Manager of New South Wales North, Peter Slapp said store owners Mark and Tammie had worked extremely hard to maintain outstanding results across all measures, particularly sales and profitability. 

“They have also relocated their store to a more prominent location and fully embraced the CFX (Customer First Experience) store interior upgrade. Mark and Tammie have the passion and fire that a successful franchise business needs to thrive. They work hard, support their local community and embrace all training programs. It is so great to see their hard work has paid off once again,” Mr Slapp said.

Supplier of the Year 

The Supplier of the Year Awards were also presented during the awards night and have evolved this year in light of DuluxGroup’s acquisition of Inspirations Paint. This meant that rather than breaking the award down by category, there were two new awards presented including, Supplier of the Year and DuluxGroup Supplier of the Year. 

Supplier of the Year award winners were determined by franchisees who completed a survey which scores the performance of each supplier against a number of criteria including: delivery, order accuracy, availability of stock and field representative support. There is one winner from each of the three categories and one overall winner. 

Supplier of the Year award winners were: 

Supplier of the Year Winner –  Tenaru 

Supplier of the Year Winner: Brian Hamilton (Tenaru) with Robert Guy.

DuluxGroup Supplier of the Year Winner – Cabot’s

DuluxGroup Supplier of the Year Winner: Jemma Carison (Cabot’s) with Robert Guy.

The Barry Guy Award 

The Barry Guy Award was also presented on the night, and award which is titled after the founder of Inspirations Paint. The Barry Guy Award has been established to acknowledge a national office team member who goes above and beyond in their service to franchise stores. 

The Barry Guy Award Winner: Jamie-Lee Holloway, (Inspirations Paint Marketing) with Robert Guy.

Jamie-Lee Holloway from the marketing team was presented with the award after Jamie-Lee went above and beyond helping stores manage the massive increase in eCommerce orders throughout the pandemic.


The Coat Award

The Coat Award was first awarded as a joke at a golf day between Inspirations Paint and Dulux at the Yarrawonga Golf Club near Albury (NSW) in 1997. However, it seems The Coat Award has gained esteem and is now awarded to those who have gone above and beyond in their service to the Inspirations Paint group. 

The Coat Award Winner: Glenn Ringrose (INSP Launceston, Cooee, Devonport, with previous winner Paul DiCampli and Robert Guy and Pat Jones (Dulux).

Now with 13 previous winner, this year’s recipient is Glenn Ringrose, owner of three Inspirations Paint stores in Tasmania (Launceston, Cooee and Devonport) and also the former Chairman of the Board of Directors. Glenn was awarded for his role in facilitating the deal between DuluxGroup and Inspirations Paint and unwavering commitment to the group.