The last junction where we turn off. A long avenue lined with poplars indicating the way. The gentle rustling crunch of the gravel driveway anticipating our host’s elbow bump, the flowers in the window, red wine stains from past visits … What do we remember after a party? What determines whether we want to come back? In sports shops and salons, restaurants and fashion houses, pharmacies and libraries, museums and company headquarters, too? Is it the products? The advice? The quality? All these things are important. But the most convincing invitation is in the experience of hospitality.
Hospitable architecture, spaces, words and aesthetics live from a thousand little things – and in the sum thereof, shaping encounters instead of sales. Façade and pavement design become a tangible invitation. Doors, deliberately used, become portals that give a clear direction of thrust: to the inside … where on a special coat hook, better conversations hang than on price tags. And outside, a gentle soundscape can be heard – selected playlists, in the best case adapted to the visitors of the moment, or even live artists.*
Atmosphere! – that’s how the crew of the Enterprise knew, or rather felt whether they were close to home. Not cheap attention, but valuable and subtle gestures of hospitality. On which advice and the product world can cruise along, like on a Mississippi paddle steamer. That make you forget that we are really only here by chance and are strangers here, that our trainers do not match the history of the house or our wallet doesn’t match this district. Welcome as a guest to a place where we would not have expected it, and every visit becomes a celebration.
* Discover more inspiration and 10 observations from the hospitality sector on the new platform ‘Zeitgeist’ from shopfitting-specialist Vizona, edited and designed by atelier 522.