VALUE ENGINEERING BRIDGES BEAUTY AND BUDGET IN EXHIBIT DESIGN

Posted on 07/11/2022 | 5 minutes read

"Incorporating value engineering into the tradeshow booth design process helps brands and their design teams navigate these challenges. Early in the design process, teams identify the core traits that would define a successful exhibit. What should their audience take away from the booth, and what design features are key to enabling that vision?"

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In some design circles, it's common to set up a contrast between budget and beauty: you must be willing to pay whatever it takes to achieve your true artistic vision, and cutting costs is synonymous with cutting value. It can be tempting to fall into this style of thinking, especially in the context of one-time events. If you only have one chance to wow prospective clients and partners, surely cost should be no object?


Fortunately, this is a false dichotomy, albeit a pervasive one. While budgets do influence many elements of a design project, they never need to compromise the overall experience. The key to balancing both experience and cost lies in the careful application of value engineering. Value engineering is a cross-disciplinary methodology that aims to identify and prioritize the core aspects of a design project while de-emphasising nonessential elements. This paradigm allows designers to direct resources where they will have the most impact, improving the overall experience without inflating the budget.



WHAT IS VALUE ENGINEERING?


Value engineering is a continuous process by which designers balance performance with cost. To do so, they define value as the ratio between outcome and expenses. Thus, increasing a solution's value requires improving outcome metrics without increasing expenses, or decreasing expenses without reducing outcome metrics.


For value engineering to work, clients should define their desired outcome as specifically as possible. In the case of tradeshow fabrication, for example, the outcome metrics might relate to audience engagement, which requires a balance of eye-catching design with a substantive brand experience. Decisions that contribute positively to these two metrics more than they inflate the budget add value. Those that do not contribute meaningfully to these metrics, or that only do so at a prohibitive expense, do not add value.


Of course, no budget is unlimited, so it's not possible to implement every idea that would theoretically add value to the experience. Instead, value engineering helps prioritize how you allocate limited resources. Rather than viewing savings and style as an either-or proposition, you can have both. You simply need to put resources toward the features that add the most value while reigning in spending that doesn't significantly improve the audience's experience. If making one part of the exhibit flashier would improve engagement but cost money, it's likely worth doing, so long as you can offset the cost by keeping less important elements more streamlined.



ADVANTAGES OF VALUE ENGINEERING


Whether you follow a strict value engineering process or simply implement the loose principles, you can expect several important benefits:


  • RETURN ON INVESTMENT: Prioritizing value over budget or beauty alone allows you to maximize ROI.


  • SUSTAINABILITY: Value engineering requires careful resource management, which promotes a more sustainable approach to event design.


  • STREAMLINED CONSTRUCTION PROCESS: Careful planning from the design phase minimizes the need for last-minute changes that can throw a wrench into budgets and timelines.



VALUE ENGINEERING FOR TRADESHOW FABRICATION


Tradeshow booth design is a unique challenge for many brands. On the one hand, tradeshows present an excellent opportunity to show your company at its most creative, drawing audiences into an interactive representation of your brand's vision. On the other, these exhibits are fraught with constraints. Available space is limited, and set-up logistics are defined by the venue rather than by what's ideal for your proposal. And as if that weren't enough, display elements must transported to and from the conference space, imposing further limits on design while also adding to the budget.


Incorporating value engineering into the tradeshow booth design process helps brands and their design teams navigate these challenges. Early in the design process, teams identify the core traits that would define a successful exhibit. What should their audience take away from the booth, and what design features are key to enabling that vision? Exhibit designers can then use these definitions to determine what expenses truly add value and which are extraneous.



OUR VALUE-ORIENTED DESIGN PROCESS


We, at Arc & Co., are experts at working within tight restrictions to translate abstract brand values into immersive spatial experiences. Our collaborative exhibit design process helps us drill down to the fundamentals and put limited resources to work for your company. The results are show-stopping spaces that conform with all budgetary and logistical requirements.


ANALYZE:

The first step, and the most critical from a value engineering perspective, is to understand your brand's image, values, and goals for the exhibit space. Be prepared for some heavy introspection at this stage. We will want to know why are you doing the event, what you want to show the world, and what you want attendees to remember a year from now.


RECOGNIZE: 

Building on the first stage, we move on toward defining the project scope and identifying potential pitfalls. How will we know if the project is successful, and are there avenues we can pursue now to improve the chances of success?


CONCEPTUALIZE: 

After defining a successful project, we can brainstorm potential designs and transform your vision into a tangible and feasible physical reality.


CONVEY: 

Finally, we communicate the plan and work toward production.


At each stage, we ensure our decisions are rooted in the intersection of performance and budget, so you can be confident that neither your vision nor your wallet will be compromised.



VALUE ENGINEERING IN EXHIBIT DESIGN: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


At its core, value engineering is about directing resources where they best serve the project's audience. At a tradeshow or exhibition, your brand has just one fleeting opportunity to make an impression—value engineering helps you make the most of that moment.


  • There is no need to sacrifice beauty for budget, especially in contexts where your outcome will be judged on appearance.


  • Value considers the quality of the outcome as a function of the expenses involved. To add value, a decision must either improve the final experience enough to outweigh the cost, or save enough resources to outweigh any impact to the experience.


  • Use impact on audience experience as the metric by which you judge expenses. Invest in those things that substantially improve the overall experience, and minimize spending on less essential details.


  • Value engineering should influence every stage of the design process. Always be working toward creative solutions that emphasize value over cost or appearance alone.



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ABOUT ARC & CO. DESIGN COLLECTIVE


Arc & Co. Design Collective transforms your brand messages into engaging physical brand experiences that increase your brand's perceived value and loyalty with your customers. By utilizing our proprietary FOUR Dimensions Framework™, we strategize, conceptualize, innovate and design experiential packaging and brand activation spaces that will complement your business and keep you ahead of the competition.


Get in touch with us to discover how we can assist in integrating a physical brand experience into your marketing strategy.

TL;DR NOTES

There is no need to sacrifice beauty for budget, especially in contexts where your outcome will be judged on appearance.



Value considers the quality of the outcome as a function of the expenses involved. To add value, a decision must either improve the final experience enough to outweigh the cost, or save enough resources to outweigh any impact to the experience.



Use impact on audience experience as the metric by which you judge expenses. Invest in those things that substantially improve the overall experience, and minimize spending on less essential details.



Value engineering should influence every stage of the design process. Always be working toward creative solutions that emphasize value over cost or appearance alone.

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