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First impressions last, no more so when it comes to your business.

And nowhere is more important in a brick-and-mortar operation than the reception area.

From the manner of the receptionist to the comfort afforded to visitors, the room should be an extension of what you hope to convey; a business that is as congenial as it is excellent in services or products rendered.

There is a certain degree of irony that so many businesses spend large amounts of cash on advertising campaigns yet overlook the state of their own reception areas.

Pharmaceutical companies are a very good example of this.

Television, radio and the print media are filled with adverts depicting friendly family doctors administering colourful medication to children, yet more often than not the reception areas at Pharmaceutical Inc. headquarters resemble something out of a Gulag admissions office.

The disconnect between public and in-house image is substantial as a result.

Increasingly it is importance that the reception area encapsulates the essence of your business, and for this reason it should be representative of the brand you are selling in as many ways as possible.

By displaying your logo either along a side wall or behind the receptionist, you are telling your clients that you are proud of your brand, and this sends a strong message to them that they should want to work with you.

Another excellent way to showcase what your business is about is to position “standing” advertising boards for a new product within the lobby and/or reception area. While you should be careful to make sure these boards do not interfere with a visitors or client’s movements, the correct positioning will catch their eye and show that your business is ahead of the game with regard to new offerings.

Framed posters can also serve the same purpose as standing boards. Human nature dictates that when a person is waiting for a meeting they want to pass the time by doing something, so what better way to keep them entertained than by allowing them to cast their eye over your product range? Certificates and awards for achievement should also have pride of place in any reception area.

Coupled with these branding strategies are steps to ensure a prospective client is made as comfortable as possible.

Since so many businesspeople are constantly on the move, and accordingly tied to their smartphones or tablets, it might be a good idea to include charging points or wi-fi in the reception area. This will show them that you understand their time is important to them, and will go out of your way to offer every convenience possible.

Assignment 3 can be trusted to ensure your reception area is one that leaves a lasting impression, from desks and visitor convenience to branding and signage placement.

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