The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Member Blog: Creating a Welcoming and Professional Reception Area

By Peter Cunningham, Design Manager at Innova


A positive first impression can contribute significantly towards a visitor’s overall impression of your company, brand and even the services you offer. By providing a comfortable and well-designed reception area, you are setting the tone for the entire visit.

Whether refurbishing an existing reception and waiting room area or building anew, it is important to consider all the factors which will impact upon the experience of all visitors.

Make Everyone Welcome

Ensuring visitors feel comfortable will reflect positively upon your brand. Consider all physical and emotional factors such as the age, mobility and tastes of your clientele, and create a reception/waiting room area that reflects them.

It is important to consider access for people who suffer from physical disabilities. Slow incline ramps for wheelchair users and Braille instructions for the blind can help more people feel welcome in your reception area.

Comfortable seating and storage for belongings should be provided. Wi-fi access is a great addition to a reception area; anyone who has to wait around will appreciate fast and free internet access and it’s is a relatively cheap way to improve their experience considerably.

Considered Environmental Factors

Reception areas attract a lot of footfall and are in constant use, so when choosing furniture for this space, opt for durable, quality materials.

Natural environmental factors such as light and sound can have significant impact upon the mindset of your visitors. The NHS released design guidelines for their new-build institutions, which stressed the importance and benefits of incorporating natural light in receptions and waiting areas. The guidelines suggest that it is important to avoid a sudden transition of light levels when entering a building.

The acoustics and overall sound quality of receptions and waiting areas should also be considered during the design and development process – particularly in busy rooms. Quality acoustics ensure that no important verbal information is lost in translation.

Positive Brand Reflection

Make sure that your branding is clearly displayed – your company logo should be prominently placed and the look and feel of the reception area should be consistent with the ethos of your company.

The American Marketing Association explains that branding can help confirm credibility and also create an emotional connection with the target audience. The creation of a new reception and/or waiting area is the perfect opportunity to further develop branding and brand identity.

Clearly Defined Areas

It should be immediately clear to all visitors where the main reception/help desk is located and all important features and amenities should be clearly defined. A simple way to achieve this is to make sure that the reception desk faces the main entrance, and that it is clearly signposted as such.

Using imagery as well as instructive wording can help define areas – especially for those who have poor eyesight or are not fluent in your institution’s primary language – creating a more inclusive atmosphere.

About Innova Design Solutions

Innova Design Solutions is a leading supplier with over 30 years’ experience designing, manufacturing and installing furniture and inspirational interiors for the commercial, education and healthcare sectors. If you’d like to commission a reception your company deserves, contact them on 0161 4775300.

http://www.innova-solutions.co.uk/

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