When John Lavey contemplated bringing important prospects to the offices of Hammock Publishing Inc., he winced.
"The space was very gray and beige and nondescript," says Lavey, 39, president of the Nashville custom publisher. "That was not what we wanted." Looking to spruce up his lobby and client meeting areas to help him impress an important client during a bidding war, Lavey turned to Nashville-based marketing company Advent, a well-established trade show exhibit designer he had previously hired for exhibits. It was the first time Advent owner and president John Roberson had been asked to design something other than a trade show exhibit. "We made their lobby over from boring to branded," Roberson says. More important, that single request spurred a surge of growth for Advent: In 2008, Advent, which now bills itself as an experiential marketing firm, reached $5 million and 20 employees. Roberson, 41, credits Lavey's request with much of his company's recent good fortune. This office redesign segment "is the most rapidly growing part of our business," he says.
Hammock's new look features brightly colored walls, art panels with vibrant images illustrating the company's projects and clients, and its tagline--"Your Story Starts Here"--painted on one wall. "We've had other visitors comment on the space and ask for a referral," Lavey says. "They've been impressed with how we branded our space."
That one job spurred change for Advent almost immediately. On the way back to the Advent office from the Hammock installation, an employee wondered whether the domain name lobbymakeover.com was available. Says Roberson, "We did secure the domain name, and it's bringing us a new audience we wouldn't have had a chance to connect with previously."
—By Mark Henricks.
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