Boutique Design Events and Trade Fairs

Go see Jennifer Johanson, EDG president + CEO, offer further insights on this topic at the opening panel of BDwest, “The ROI of Design: How to convince your client to invest in your vision,” at 10 a.m., Wednesday March 13 on the BDwest floor, Theater A (Accredited Session= 0.1 CEU IDCEC).

Interior design isn’t just about creating beautiful spaces – we’re in the business of design. 

As we are all too aware, a client’s return on investment will always be the bottom line. Our job is to be as innovative as possible, using design as a tool to help our clients reach their business objectives. Having the client’s trust in your strategy, vision, and design solution is essential for project success. Here’s the basics on how to get there:

1.    Listen.

Make sure you fully understand your client’s business goals. Look through their lens and approach the relationship as a partnership. If they trust that you are on the same page and share the same objectives, they will trust in you, your vision, and conversely support your business goals as well. 

2.    Ask Why.

Creative and efficient programming is essential to the success of any project, even more so in competitive business environments where good design must be paired with functional use.  During the programming process, we should always ask “why.”

To ensure the client’s success we must distill their often expansive vision into the principal experiential elements that will drive the continuing success of the project. A great design solution will identify the essential operational goals of the client and anticipate the unarticulated needs of the guests (the ultimate client of the partnership). 

For our project Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa, our client thought they wanted a coastal luxe B&B experience. After research, discussion, and a site visit, the concept altered from “luxury” to “outdoorsy,” as we saw a unique opportunity to attract an active and adventure-seeking crowd. Executing on a down-to-earth, rustic contemporary concept, the lodge has since become a favorite retreat for Nike employees. 

3.    Know your client. 

What can the operator pull off successfully and sell? The brand, design, and operating capability should all be in sync.

The most compelling design solutions embody a design logic derived from an intimate understanding of our clients and their unique goals. It is only by gaining a thorough understanding of our client’s needs that we can achieve innovative design solutions that elevate their industry and our profession.