Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Here’s a simple truth: what you think about is what you remember.
Here’s a false assumption: our memory records everything it hears and sees.
Assumptions about how participants in any event create memories, learn and remember are made all the time. These assumptions and all of the related planning about that event content and logistics are based on a mix of theories and tradition.
Take a museum tour (the event) and some museum visitors (the event participants) as an example:
We’ve assumed that the more visitors walk around passively, listening to a tour guide (alive or app-ified), the more they will remember.
We’ve assumed that the quieter the visitors are, the more they can hear and recall information.
We’ve assumed that the more content that is covered, the more the visitors learn.
So how effective are these assumptions? Using these assumptions, how much is actually retained by you, the event participant? The answer is very little, if anything at all.
What ends up in your memory is not the content presented. It is the product of what you thought about as you experienced that content. If that tour had focussed more on your previous visits to the museum (when did you come, where did you go, what did you see, how long did you stay) and had taken care of the logistics of being you, the odds are you would remember it for a long time.
And what about a two-hour concert or a music festival? The set, the visuals, the singer, the PA, the food and beverage, your seating and even how you got those tickets, everything plays a part in determining what you think about as you experience the event. This is the memory you create.
How does all this apply to you, the performing arts venue, festival, theatre, museum, gallery, conference centre or resort? Make event logistics seamless, know the who, what, when and where of every last detail, have actionable information about your customers. Offer them an unforgettable experience.