Wrangling multiple quotes for an exhibit, fiout or display can be a challenge. You have a wonderful centre, space or project that the world needs to experience. A group of passionate individuals banding together who believe in it. And you’re in charge of the money and the result. Talk about pressure!
It would be lovely if we all had unlimited funds to devote to every aspect of seeing it come to fruition. But most people need to work within budgets. And for anyone who’s ever built a house (or overseen the production of a bespoke fit-out, display or exhibition), you’ll know the price is often more than you first expected, going into it. It can be tempting to choose on price alone. But in our line of work, most often that would be a mistake. We look at all the factors which go into the decision making processes, and explain why choosing on price alone might not be the best idea. We also give you some examples of ways you can reduce your end price, while still getting terrific value.
Occasionally, we receive enquiries comparing our prices to shopfitters or tradeshow stand builders. This is understandable. We don’t judge. To an outsider, we may seem similar. Or even provide pretty similar things. But our goals and processes are different, and depending on your project, those differences are significant. So what looks cheap to begin with can end up providing far less value than you hoped.
When it comes to bespoke permanent displays, exhibits, marketing suites or shop fit-outs, here’s some of the parameters around which we operate:
Where the value lies
- Longevity. Your display or exhibit is meant to be permanent. So we build it to last. Every detail needs to be executed with permanence in mind. The quality of materials, the way they’re put together, the finish, the ease of use. Even technology needs careful selection. And often an agreement for maintenance long after the installation is complete.
- Durability. How many times will the public lean on that bench? Or pull on that lever? Not only is ensuring durability a quality issue, but it’s a safety issue too. That’s why we’re totally OCD and 100% proud of it.
- Fit for purpose. Ideas need to be your way, not ours. This is not about managing your expectations around our stock standard process, but providing our expertise to work with your goals and dreams. We provide ideas and experience, but we are all about making it original, and that takes time and collaboration.
- Creativity. We’re required to break the mould every time. The level of creativity and skill required to do that is extremely high. We’re building on our know-how culminated from long careers dedicated to this art form. For instance, recently we had the idea to hang a full-size plane from the roof for the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service. It might have been an off the wall idea. It might have taken extra time and energy. But the result has paid off in a memorable exhibit that is talked about over and over, creating a return on investment for our client that is incredibly lucrative.
- Meaning. Often the project needs to exist within certain historical, scientific or cultural parameters. This requires the professionalism to be able to offer advice, provide solutions and bring a range of experts together. This is a really important part of what we do, that you don’t always know you need starting out. But will be revealed as a highly valuable part of the journey as it progresses.
- Precision. Accuracy and precision are highly important in our industry. From the time we put together your quote, to the time we wipe down the last surface in preparation for showtime. Near enough is never good enough. Our experience means we know what it takes to put a project together, and this gives our clients the confidence that there is seldom budget blowout, and we are always 100% dedicated to a world-class result.
Making your project fit within your budget without compromising on quality
In our 31 years of experience, we are able to offer advice when we feel that it is in a client’s best interest to consider changes that allow you to reduce budget without compromising on quality.
When you need to work within certain budget parameters, invariably scope is the first thing we can look to reduce. Is there something which was a nice-to-have but is not an essential? We can work to help you remove or delay this aspect of your project and still have a memorable end result.
We can offer ways to lessen expense while still delivering the same meaning or outcome. Maybe the same message can be communicated without a full-blown interactive experience? Or perhaps there are creative ways that props or graphics can tell the same story?
Are there elements in the initial brief which you may be able to delay until new funds are available? We have worked with a number of clients to create a successful staggering of project scope up to an agreed timeframe. Ensuring that at each stage, the project feels complete, and flows seamlessly into the next stage as funds become available.
A change in finish can open up room in the budget, especially where it has no bearing on design or quality. For instance, can granite benches be replaced by laminate in non-client facing areas? Can a cheaper long-lasting material be used to provide the same functionality?
Mona Lisa or paint by numbers?
Mona Lisa is just a painting of a woman, in essence. But the value is in everything that led up to Da Vinci’s masterpiece. It’s in the details.
At the end of the day, when you have two quotes staring you in the face, it is a tough task to make decisions. But don’t forget the value that experience can bring. Especially if you need extra help with project management, connecting to subject matter experts, or thinking creatively about ways to design something or communicate messages. Not to mention, the value in building something which looks world-class and will stand the test of time, whatever the treatment.
Sometimes, balancing these aspects against your budget is the best investment decision you can make.
Do you need some advice around a Project?
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with it all, why not reach out for some help? With 31 years in the industry, we can probably give you some great advice about your next right move for your exhibit, display or fit-out. We’ve also got some great connections to see you through every step of the way.
About Brandi Projects
Brandi Projects is a multi-disciplinary team who specialise in the delicate process of creating innovative, interpretive and interactive exhibits, themed spaces and displays. We are a Brisbane owned and operated company, who have been display and exhibition designers and builders since 1988. See more about us.