The recent global pandemic has forced a change of routine. Hospitality designers worldwide have had to rethink strategy, develop new ways of execution, and shift direction amid volatile and dynamic conditions. New challenges surface every day for them and their hotel owner clients. Some obstacles may be short-term inconveniences, but they are also facing adjustments that may be long-lasting. A designer’s ability to pivot nimbly and find creative solutions in this environment is crucial to success.
Collaboration is a vital part of the design process. However, coordination within teams and with clients these days requires more technology, communication skills, and persistence. The pandemic spiked worldwide furloughs and layoffs, so designers have had to develop relationships with new contacts at hotel brands and FF&E manufacturers. Since these new contacts may be handling more work now, it can take longer to receive samples or other materials, which threatens project deadlines.
Meanwhile, a project’s timeline is a big factor when an owner or developer is considering whether to put a hotel design project on hold due to financial hardship. While some designers may have clients on pause, others have projects that have stopped altogether due to COVID-19.
Interior designers are now rethinking strategy relative to the coronavirus. The pandemic has made new operational factors top priority. While space and movability have always influenced hotel design, the need to ensure social distancing in public areas introduces new complexities. Hotels must now also have materials and products that are easy to clean without harming furniture and finishes. Designing for sanitization is a new requirement in hotels and restaurants. As they think about food and beverage, designers are now geared for fewer dine-in offerings based on guest preferences.
Like many other industries, in-person hospitality design meetings aren’t possible due to COVID-19. Before the pandemic, contract FF&E producers showcased their products to designers via trade shows, factory tours and meet and greets, but ever since, vendors have struggled to do so. However, after a learning curve with web meeting technology, designers and manufacturers are moving forward again with online video events. While they are eager for business to resume as usual, designers seem to be working from home with a high degree of productivity.
Remote work, despite its overall effectiveness, still challenges interior designers in one huge way: they no longer have immediate access to their samples library. Hotel designers are having to make selections or put quick schemes together for client presentations without these handy resources. It’s not easy. It requires ordering samples from vendors to their home or going into the office at a scheduled time to pull fabrics or finishes needed for a project. Most designers keep a small library at home, browsing different manufacturer websites, and asking their local vendor representatives for more information on specific products. It’s another way designers are reinventing tried and true methods of working.
We are all adjusting to ongoing changes due to COVID-19. It’s important to work with a hotel designer who can anticipate and quickly respond to the obstacles in an innovative, solutions-oriented way. At Innvision Design Studio, our team members have developed new ideas for hotel design, communication, project management, and teamwork. Reach out and contact Innvision Hospitality today to begin moving your project forward.