Most organizations eventually have to showcase and demonstrate new ideas to clients. Whether these are simple request for proposal answers, long-form proposals, or full art showcases, the demo room is where you first connect with the client and where you deliver work. Creating a quality room will impact how your clients perceive your organization and your work.
While many aspects of a demo room, such as how you present media, will depend on your organization and its medium, there are many aspects of the room that you can tweak to create a better impression.
Plan Your Room
It’s more important to use your space well than to put a huge amount of stuff in your room. It doesn’t matter how big your display screens or how comfortable chairs are if those displays aren’t at good angles, connections don’t work, or issues such as light or angles are frequently apparent.
- How big is the room?
- How many people will typically use the room?
- What environmental issues do you have to consider? Light from windows? Building design?
These elements can help you to create a room layout that works for your clients.
For example, you can create mitigating effects to balance environmental disadvantages like high light by installing electric blinds. You can create a seating arrangement that ensures everyone seated in the room can see presentation displays. You can ensure a sound system is installed so that any speaker can easily be heard around the room. And, you can choose display solutions that work well for that size of room.
Atmosphere can make or break your presentation. Most people will be significantly more impacted by a cinema ad in a theater – surrounded by sound, perfect lighting, and comfort – than they ever will be at home.
Your demo room is your opportunity to create an atmosphere that showcases your products. This can include comfortable seating, desks, design, and even sound.
Depending on your organization, you can and should look at solutions like:
Connectivity – It’s crucial that devices work correctly and that presentations are seamless. Taking 15 minutes to fix a headset or connect a device will detract from your presentation.
Comfort – Comfortable and convenient chairs and desks are a must-have. In most cases, this should include desks or table spaces for clients, with charging ports, USB hubs, and anything they might need to be comfortable in that space. For example, your clients should typically always have access to amenities such as Wi-Fi.
Design – A well-designed space reflects your brand but is simple enough that it doesn’t clash with your work. This also means designing spaces around environment such as building features, bright light or lack of it, and so on.
Most demo rooms require presentations, which typically involves creating spaces for audio-visual demonstration.
Depending on room shape and layout, this might involve incorporating several screens, projectors, microphones, or a range of other solutions.
Microphones and Speakers – Unless you work in a fairly small room, any demonstrator should have the option to use a microphone. This should be keyed to speakers around the room or to headsets depending on the size of the room.
Digital Display – Displays come in many shapes and sizes, but indoor options typically include LCD flat panel displays, OLED displays, and video projectors. Each has its pros and cons:
LCD Flat Panel – These displays are affordable, perform well in different light situations, and offer a range of quality and features for a limited budget. LCD flat-panel displays are ideal in demo rooms where you need more than one display because you can easily install numerous large screens without going over budget.
OLED – OLED displays are thinner, better suited to creating dynamic displays such as curved display or video-walls, and are often available with bezel-less options. OLED displays are more expensive and less suited for high-light display, but allow for a great deal in terms of creative design.
Projectors – Projectors are ideal for spaces that cannot or should not feature screens, work very well in smaller spaces, and are an affordable way to install extremely large displays. Projectors work on nearly any reflective surface, can perform in even high light conditions, and come in a range of qualities depending on model and features.
In most cases, you should choose a solution based on your demo room, its dimensions, and your budget.
Interactivity is a relatively new option for demo rooms but it can be extremely valuable, especially for early-stage negotiations and project planning. Here, you can incorporate either digital interactive solutions or standard whiteboarding spaces where clients can interact with designs directly.
Touchscreen Tablets – Touchscreen tablets allow clients to directly see information they are being shown or told about, with options to scroll through at their own pace and interact with a digital demonstration, rather than using a paper printout. These can also include digital capture boards so that clients can save elements of a presentation to notes as it occurs or add their own notes and edit requests in real time.
Touchscreen Tables and Boards – Touchscreens are increasingly used for white-boarding, live editing, live note-taking, etc. which adds immense value in demo rooms. Clients can simply add their own notes and suggestions to specific elements of design, can touch areas to zoom or see more, and can white-board concepts alongside developers.
A good demo room takes comfort, design, and collaboration into consideration. While you can (and should) wow clients with quality graphics, sound, and technology, the most effective demo rooms are those that encourage interaction and collaboration. Achieving this is often relatively simple with a combination of large displays for visual demonstration and smaller, interactive touchscreens where clients can add their own input or deep-dive into information at their own pace.
While exact implementation will vary depending on your organization, your product, and your clients, you can discuss your needs with your installer to create a demo room that truly amazes clients.