At Hype, we're big believers in the Concept phase of our projects. It's a chance for our team to get their hands dirty, designing riveting visuals and prototyping ingenious ways to bring them to life.
However, in a lot of creative pursuits the Concept stage is seen as a luxury. Small budgets and tight timelines mean that conceptualising ideas is often skipped. But it's to the detriment of the project, and ultimately the client, when we don't spend enough time developing our concepts.
Here's why we'll put all of our projects through the rigour of a Concept phase.
As designers, developers and engineers, we can fall into the trap of bombarding our clients with possibilities, interwoven with jargon. Talking about our awesome MadMapper model, or how we can layer visual components, or use a Kinect sensor is all perfectly clear to us, but it's mostly gibberish to a typical client.
The Concept stage allows a client to see for themselves exactly what we're thinking. When I show a client a conceptual sketch or an animation of our ideas, there's inevitably an 'a-ha' moment when they can clearly see what I'm going for. Concepts put everyone firmly on the same page.
There's probably some (ok, many) creatives who would disagree, but in my experience it's rare for an idea to be perfect right off the shelf. Exposing a concept to other creative minds is like throwing it into a prize fight and seeing if it can throw a punch. The idea gets tested and stretched, with every new person putting their own unique spin and perspective on it. Oftentimes, the idea iterates and evolves into something even better. It's in the arena of the Concept stage that an idea becomes strong.
If we go through our Vision and Discovery phases and jump right into Development, we're skipping a really important step in troubleshooting our ideas. Each of us has a particular skill that we bring to the table. In some ways that’s a great strength, but in other ways it can creates potential blind spots that can only be seen by an expert in another field. It doesn't do much good if a software developer comes up with a killer idea that our prop team can't deliver because they have to order a particular material or specialised equipment that won't arrive in time.
The concept phase gives us time to work through potential problems and develop proper solutions.
Every project is exciting, and creatives love exploring new possibilities. But we always have to keep the client in mind, because this is their event, not ours. And just because projection arrays or LED installations are possible, it doesn't necessarily mean that's what the client wants.
The Concept phase allows clients to stop ideas that don't align with their vision, or provide a clearer brief on the ideas they like. This important feedback loop gives creative professionals the freedom to move into the Development stages with confidence.
The Concept stage allows the creative beast to roam free. There are no bad ideas on the drawing board. And who knows? Even if one concept is quashed in your current project, you could have struck on an idea that might be central to your next project.
Time and budgets might be tight, but the Concept phase is an investment in each project's success and always worth pursuing.
Hype Entertainment is Wellington's leading audio visual and event production company. Since 2011 we've been mesmerising audiences around New Zealand with fully immersive experiences that dazzle, delight and entertain. Check out some of our projects and Contact Us to find out how we can make your event an experience.