Supporting the Lobby Experience

Published by: Scott Schoeneberger

Being based out of metro-Detroit, vehicle analogies are a pretty common thing. When you’ve made an investment in an incredible entryway experience, it makes sense you would want to protect that investment. Just like a car needs routine maintenance, the technology, the fixtures, and the content you deploy all need a little TLC along the way to stay fresh.

There’s a number of reasons to keep these items in check. Being the first and last thing visitors are exposed to, this space makes an important impression to visitors and employees alike. Run the same content for years and everyone will notice. Fixtures and other custom display pieces can get beat up from normal wear and tear. Again, people take note of this. Left unchecked, this neglect can give the entirely wrong impression.

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We bring the topic of maintenance up as it plays an important role in developing out a lobby program plan. All too often the "Day 2" items — things that happen after the installation — are unaccounted for during initial planning. Go too big up front and you might not leave enough budgeted to invest in the routine support, updates, or content refreshes that keep things looking great. Ongoing support is an important consideration to the overall plan — and actually could be the most important consideration for creating impact.

What should I be planning for?

Preparing for ongoing maintenance is a pretty straightforward process. We can break it down into three categories to make it easy to remember; content, space, and technology. These are the areas that are going to need a little love along the duration of the environment.

Content: First let’s touch on the component that seems to catch the most heat. Content, or lack of updates to content, is generally the biggest culprit to a disengaging environment. Once you have seen the same content a few times, it’s easy to tune it out. Stretch that across a year or more and you’ve got an environment that’s only speaking to first time visitors.

Recommendation: Plan on making updates to content as frequently as once a month, to once a quarter to max out effectiveness and impact. Some content may need to be updated more frequently (digital signage) while other content can go longer (motion visuals). Planning for quarterly updates will keep you covered.

TLDR: Plan for quarterly updates.

Space: In most cases the physical / structural elements of an environment will only need a little dusting along the way. Over time environmental factors (temperature, humidity, UV, etc.) and general wear can begin to cause unsightly blemishing, delamination, or edge marking that should be repaired. But in most cases this aspect you can address items as they come up.

Recommendation: Make sure to include cleaning in your budgeting, even if just an occasional dusting and wipe down. This will keep things looking right. Yearly or bi-yearly maintenance isn’t a bad idea either, but you can generally get away with just monitoring for damages and calling in repairs when necessary.

TLDR: Review physical properties once a year.

Technology: These days it’s almost guaranteed that your lobby will contain technology-based focal pieces. Large format video wall, architecturally integrated media (or techoration), lighting, audio, or interactive pieces. These items hold the highest risk for requiring support. Restarts, firmware updates, and component repair or replacement are all part of the lifecycle. An ongoing support program is highly recommended.

Recommendation: Register for a managed service program to cover tech elements. A good program will provide 24/7 monitoring, scheduled maintenance, and provide telemetry on the system — a monthly report on what’s been handled and what’s recommended.

TLDR: Sign up for proactive monitoring and support.

Budgeting for these items up front may shape the direction of your lobby experience, which is why taking this into consideration at the onset is so important. Keeping your structures clean, technology online, and content fresh by updating regularly will drastically increase both the effectiveness of the experience and the life of the installation.

If you’re looking to create a statement for your building, don’t hesitate to reach out. We love the opportunity to concept, sketch and bring ideas to life. Just hit contact below!

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