The Big Reveal: How to Do a Great One

By Gail Doby, ASID
CVO & Co-Founder, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting & Design Success University
Photo taken by Dana McGrath

You want your clients to have a great experience throughout their entire project.  Most of all, you want to wow them with the finished interior.  This is your, and their, big moment, the payoff for their investment and your hard work.  Make it one they will never forget.

To maximize the impact of the great unveiling, avoid piecemeal installations and keep clients away from the project site as much as possible during final installation. Unlike you, most clients can envision what the completed interior will look or feel like.  They tend to focus on bits and pieces, not realizing that the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.  This just invites criticism and begins to create a negative impression in the client’s mind even before they’ve seen the finished product.  When the big day comes, they will be looking for the things that bothered them rather than seeing and appreciating the effect of the whole.

In preparation for the big reveal, you want to set the stage. Everything should be spotless, in place and accessorized with some meaningful personal objects so that the client will immediately imagine themselves in the space and feel at home.  The lighting should be comfortable and flattering.  Provided your client is not allergic, provide fresh flowers, candles or the aroma of fresh baked goods from the kitchen.  Have a refreshing beverage on hand, champagne or wine and perhaps some music or ambient sounds playing softly in the background.  You want all of their senses to be engaged.

When you escort the client into the space, give them time to absorb the experience.  Let them react before you say anything.  Then walk them through the space, pointing out design details, showing them how things work, and making them aware of the thought and planning you have put into every aspect of the space to meet their wishes and exceed their expectations.  Finally, provide them with a housewarming gift to thank them for their business and to serve as a memento of this special occasion – your goal is to create a memorable brand experience that they will want to tell their friends and associates about.




  1. Rissi Cherie on June 23, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Marvelous advice. Thanks!

  2. Courtney Thomas on July 2, 2016 at 6:55 am

    If your business model is VBF without purchasing, how do you get a client to this experiential “wow” moment?

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