With Cam Petty, Kaley Goodall & Kathleen Winchip
Friends, this podcast episode’s content is rich— like you will be once you start making the most of your design decks! Slight kidding, but really… our team sat down and discussed how important design decks are when working with clients and how you can use them to your benefit in increasing contract quotes.
When someone reaches out to you about using your rentals for an event, and they aren’t sure exactly what they’re looking for, what do you do? Where do you start? Of course, there are questions asked in the initial conversations that help you figure out the style or theme, but when it comes time to pick a product for the gathering, how do you choose what works best out of all your amazing inventory? Furthermore, how do you show clients that the pieces you’ve picked are the perfect fit for their event?
Alas, the design deck. Our team loves building design decks, or what we like to call them, renderings (sound familiar?)! What is a design deck or a rendering? It is a digital layout of the products you will supply for the client’s event or gathering. Products can include but are not limited to backdrops, lounge pieces, textiles, styling pieces, floral arrangements, etc. Renderings serve as our in-house first step in figuring out what we can do for each client. Not only does it help us get a visual for the design or layout, but it also really helps our clients understand why we suggest certain products and how we see them working together.
Additionally, we feel renderings can be very valuable when it comes to building trust with your clients. It allows you the opportunity to blend their images or design ideas with what you have to work with. Renderings can give clients a glimpse into the atmosphere your products will create for their event.
Let’s take in the moody and intimate vibes this picture shows and discuss how we got there.
Maybe you’ve never built a design deck and you want to start there. We have some recommendations, including where to start the building. Our team likes to use the following:
We are not recommending any one of these programs as the best option, better than the others, or what you should try to use with every single client. Instead, we would encourage you to familiarize yourself with whichever one(s) are more accessible and comfortable for you and then consider which would work best based on your clients’ needs.
When you’re in the platform of your choice, we recommend starting off with imagery that shows your inspiration! It’s really helpful to use images your client shared as well as any personal or stock images that you have saved or have on Pinterest. Again, this builds trust and shows them that you are trying to achieve their design goals for the event.
Pro-tip: you can also ask your client if they have a Pinterest board created for the event and pull imagery from there!
After showing your inspiration, start laying out your pieces on the slide as you would set them up at the event. This is where cutting your inventory images so they have a transparent background really comes in handy. Also if your rendering has a rug for example, then Photoshop’s ability to show you eye-level designs is another helpful tool.
Pro-tip: If you have a client reaching out for only one of your services but you have multiple, try incorporating other services into your design deck! For example, our company provides rentals for events as well as custom floral design. If a client reaches out specifically for a lounge or table set-up, we will include florals in our renderings. Most times clients appreciate the suggestion and are thrilled that we can provide both services! However, it’s important that you are sure to not step on the toes of any other vendors involved. If you know the client already has a florist for their event, you don’t need to pitch yours.
If your client shares any imagery that shows what they see for the event, use it! You don’t have to use every picture they share and try to recreate the exact image but when pairing it with your inspiration and overall design for their event, it will ensure that you listened and show them how your inspiration aligns with their desires.
Our team has also noticed a decrease in problems or disputes about products since we have been assembling renderings for our clients. With the product set-up and styled *exactly* how it would be at the event venue, there is little room for error or surprise when our delivery and installation team actually put everything together on the event day. Your client trusts after seeing and approving your design deck that they’re getting exactly what they are paying for.
Pro-tip: Improve your design deck accuracy by creating them with the actual venue layout & specs. Example: you want to know if the lounge you’re thinking about pitching is going to fit on the stage for the event? Figure out how big the stage is! Having that information ready for your client is going to be beneficial by showing your preparation and expertise. Utilizing your cut inventory images to scale gives more accuracy in what the client can expect at the event.
We do not make design decks for every client or every project because not every product or sale needs one! At Render, we have committed to creating a design deck for every lounge we rent. This allows us to focus more on our larger orders and take the time to pull imagery we know our clients will enjoy for these bigger events.
With each design deck that is approved by our clients, we are seeing higher and higher rates of satisfaction on our client surveys. This is great because it often leads to them booking with us again. We’ve noticed that clients who receive design decks also usually book with us much faster, and do not ghost us. Clients will also sometimes ask, “Can you do something similar to what you put together last time?”. That alone can help expand what may have been a smaller order to something more for your team and business. Keeping a log of popular inspiration and renderings can be very helpful for future projects!
Design decks or renderings are so valuable in helping out both your team internally and externally with your clients. Here are some key points we want to reiterate and that you can tune into on the podcast:
Additionally, here are the links referenced in this episode:
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