Challenge: I would appreciate your advice on the effective presentation of materials to attract the interest of potential clients. We have a 15- by 10-foot exhibition stand in one of the most prestigious shopping malls in the city. The overall concept is clean and straight with a minimalist presentation at the stand using only ivory wall color, glass and stainless steel accents. We plan to put up sample boards and a photography display of our finished projects. How best can we attract clients with an effective presentation in this manner?
Solution: A professional format using some basic marketing techniques, artistic creativity and a clean presentation will attract the clients you are looking for. Let’s take a look at the various elements involved.
• Format—An exhibition stand that would include the ivory background you mention can be made dynamic with the addition of texture in the presentation. Stainless steel and glass need texture to give the look variety. Choose a background material with tactile texture. This will not take away from the presentation boards or photographs. In fact, it will cause the presentation to stand out more effectively.
Basic marketing techniques, artistic creativity and a clean presentation will attract the clients you are looking for.
The presentation should have a black mat board as the background. This will provide contrast against the ivory wall cover. Remember to be consistent with the borders around each board, especially if choosing a symmetrical presentation. Also, be sure to leave enough negative space around your presentations.
• Variety—The actual boards and photographs should include groupings of many different styles. In this way the customers will be able to observe the wide range of talent that each interior design represents.
Remember, passers-by will come from a wide range of backgrounds and each of their design preferences will be different. For the same reason, be sure to show a variety of color scheme options for potential clients.
• Displaying Photographs—Ideal for this display would be 11- by 14-inch photographs, or larger ones. This size of photograph will show interior details and is easily seen and understood by potential customers when they view the photographs on display. Also, be sure to mat the photographs in a manner consistent with the overall presentation format. Show black-and-white photographs also, because they leave room for imagination!
• Accessorizing Your Presentation—Placing the final touches on the presentation is a tricky job. Naturally, our tendency it to try to add more and more as time goes by. But try to remember the phrase “less is more,” and you will then not clutter up the presentation you worked so hard to put together.
Editor's Note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured in numerous books and publications.