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Critical questions to ask yourself before designing your reception AV solution

We all know that you only get one chance to make a good first impression.  But sometimes even that opportunity can be taken away from you.  If you’re meeting someone for the first time at your place of business, chances are they’ve already formed an opinion about your company – and you by association – based on their experience when they walked into your company’s reception.

Creating a reception area that not only reflects your company’s brand and personality, but one that is also functional and pleasant, is vital to ensure that your business relationships get off on the right foot.


Reception AV can help you create this impressive environment – in fact there are very few receptions now that don’t include at least one element of AV technology.  But with so many products available, creating the right solution for your company can be a daunting task.

Making sure you can answer these 5 questions before you approach an AV integrator or go shopping for products will help you use AV technology to create a reception that your company can be proud of.

1. What Am I Trying To Achieve?

The answer to this may seem obvious at first – surely all receptions are designed to receive visitors and direct them to their next destination – but is that all you’re hoping to get out of this space?

Reception areas can also be used to;

  • Wow people – through architectural design, advanced technology or epic displays.
  • Educate – provide information about your company or your business sector.
  • Entertain – to distract visitors while they wait.
  • Advertise your brand or products – through product placement or marketing media.
  • Help with independent navigation/wayfinding – with maps or interactive technology.
  • Provide an informal meeting or gathering space – for small groups that don’t need privacy.

You should also think about the atmosphere you’re trying to create – will your reception be a haven of calm or a vibrant hub of energy?

2. What Content Do I Want to Show?

Figuring out what you’re trying to achieve in your reception and what kind of atmosphere you’re trying to create will affect what kind of content you show in this area.

A fashion brand that is trying to create an energetic atmosphere to entertain their guests might have catwalk footage cut to chart music in their reception, while a bank would be more likely to favour a calm atmosphere and provide visitors with critical information by showing financial broadcasts while classical music plays quietly in the background.

The type of content you’re showing will affect what size and type of screen is best for your reception.  While a 42” LCD screen is more than adequate for watching our favourite TV shows at home, it’s unlikely to catch your visitor’s eye in a busy office reception.  Conversely, visitors sitting two meters away from a 6mm pixel pitch LED wall won’t be able to read detailed text data.

3. What’s The Focal Point?

Put yourself in the visitor’s shoes when they walk through the door – where does their eye tend to go?  If your video content is critical to their experience, then this should be the first location that is considered for a display, as content shown here is most likely to grab their attention.

On the other hand, if your content is only intended to distract and entertain guests that are waiting to be collected for appointments, then you might choose to place screens in a less prominent position, but one that has a clear line of sight from the visitors’ seating area.

4. What About Audio?

Audio in reception areas is often an afterthought but it is a vital part of the environment – on a quiet day it can make your space seem less empty and more inviting, and on a busy day it can shield private conversations from being overheard.  Think about;

  • whether your audio and video are integrated or independent,
  • if you need the same audio to be broadcast throughout the space or if you need to create different audio zones to pinpoint audio for specific parts of the reception,
  • how clear you need the audio to be – while background music doesn’t have to be crystal clear, dialogue needs to be discernible,
  • whether there are any restrictions on speaker placement – mounting speakers discretely may involve suspending them from the ceiling or hiding them in wall cavities.

5. Who’s Managing The Content?

The final, and possibly most important, thing to consider when designing your reception AV is how your content will be managed and updated.

  • Is the content on a loop?
  • Does someone need to prompt it?
  • How technically skilled are the people that are responsible for updating content?

Ideally a content management system should be used to manage and deliver the content to the various technologies that make up your reception AV solution.  A CMS provides a user-friendly interface that allows you to schedule, customise, monitor and troubleshoot content across your entire AV system.  Some CMS systems even allow granular restrictions so you can allocate different permissions to different stakeholders – so the marketing team can change which ads are running while the receptionist can change the welcome message – while others allow you to set up rules and tags which automate content ingest and playout to minimise human intervention.

It’s Time to Choose An Integrator

By now you should have a clear idea of what kind of impression you want to create with your reception area – and how your AV solution can help you do that.  All that’s left is to choose an integrator to help you achieve that vision.

Get in touch with Anna Valley to discuss your Reception AV requirements.