Presenting To Clients
Yesterday evening I accompanied Kia of a client meeting where we were presenting the design proposal. Although I had previously attended meetings with clients, including this client, I had not experienced a meeting where the design concept had been explained, so was very interesting to see how the client reacted and what kind of questions they asked, in addition to the way that Kia talked them through the reasoning behind the design.
To introduce the spacial plan (which was the main task considered with these clients as they had recently renovated their flat) Kia showed different variants of layout that we considered. She also explained why certain elements of these designs did not work, in addition to how moving existing items and introducing new items would enhance the space. This was also a good way to see if the clients followed the choices and understood folly so they could make the most of employing someone with expertise.
Once we had got confirmation from the client on the layout, we moved onto the full design, breaking it down into different areas. We began as you walk into the flat, explaining the different pieces, why we chose them, the proportions, the finish they are in, the colours and how they work with the rest of the flat. The clients would make a few comments about individual pieces so that they can be clear. It is usually a better sign if the clients are making comments than if they are silent, as then we can gage their thoughts, yet if they are silent, we have no idea if we have explained sufficiently or if they even like it.
We then looked at the opposite side of the same room, again explain proportions, items, positioning, function, always linking back to the brief to show how we have answered it. This gives the clients a good idea of what the room would look like if they stood centrally and rotated.
We then moved through to the living room which is the only other area we were asked to work on. This room was the more challenging area as they have existing furniture, which is all excelled quality and has a great style, but did not feel quite right or use the space particularly well, especially for entertaining. This was the main aim of the area, to make it suitable for entertaining, so we looked into adding additional seating without simply plonking it anywhere. We explained how the new pieces would work well and how people would use the room when visiting. The far end of the room was currently surplus, so our aim was to make this area part of the room by adding unusual shelving/cupboards suspended from the ceiling. These however were just inspirational images so we could gage their reaction before spending time finalising design and getting prices from the supplier as it is a bespoke piece. We also chose a chair and side cabinet for this area to store drinks & provide a separate area to sit so you are not secluded but can participate in a different activity to those in the sofa area. We explained to the clients how this would work and make the space functional yet stylish. Many of the imagery however would not be in the chosen finish/colour, so we had samples on hand to help demonstrate the correct finishes so the clients could visualise it more easily.
Once we had explained the whole design, we asked the clients if they understood it all, and if they had any queries or simply hated any of the chosen pieces. Thankfully, in this case, they approved of everything! There were a few pieces which one of the clients was questioning slightly, which gave the indication that he was not particularly stuck on them, which gives us the subtle hint to possibly find an alternative.
After this has all been discussed we explain how all the presentations that they have seen will be put onto Basecamp so they can review it at any point, along with the quote. This means that they can work what they can afford if they are on a budget and decide to purchase through Kia. All the prices on the quotes include the mark up price, which means there are no additional calculations to do.
We then explain that for each query they have about an item, they can start a new discussion on Basecamp so there are no crossing of wires. Furthermore, a discussion can be created to list all items that they decide to order so the invoice can be written up and sent through rapidly.
Each client is different, each project is different, and so evidently each meeting will be different; but this gives a good idea of the format of which initial design meeting run.