The old 80/20 rule – learn to think in reverse
When carrying out substantial refurbishment or improvement projects to a conference venue, 80 per cent of the time and effort goes into things that no one will ever see. It’s the last 20 per cent, that often ends up being an afterthought, which you, and more importantly your clients, will be living with for years to come.
You need to be clear about the end result from the very beginning, and build a project team around this vision. Interior design is about delivering a complete experience of your brand, creating spaces that not only work but also feel right.
Conference venues face their own unique set of challenges, due to the fact that they incorporate such a wide variety of spaces – from receptions, dining facilities and bars through to more technical spaces such as meetingrooms. The following tips will help you make the most of your investment:
Think in reverse. Focus on how you want your customers to feel when they use your venue and work back from there.
First impressions are vital. The intangible thing that happens when someone walks through your door, make it count. Try to put yourself in your clients shoes (and mindset), you’ll be surprised the things you notice.
Tastes change, so avoid using ’fashionable’ colours or patterns on something that will be expensive or difficult to replace. For spaces that would benefit from ’refreshing’ every now and then, put the fashion into things that can be easily updated.
Don’t treat the interior design as an afterthought. For larger projects, you’ll want an architect, interior designer and quantity surveyor from the outset. Failure to do this will cost time and money, as things will need changing, causing delays and duplicating work.
Employ an interiors specialist. You can tell when the interior has been designed by a specialist. Professional interior designersdeal with ’space’ day in, day out, so have a much broader ’armoury’ of ideas, products and finishes to draw from.
Better still, employ an interior architecture consultancy. A term that is becoming more recognised, this describes an ’interiors focused’ company that also incorporates the role of the architect as an integral part of the team.
– Tony Matters from interior architecture and design company, Heterarchy. www.heterarchy.co.uk