Question From a Client

Last week, out of the Blue; while they were on a flight, a very thoughtful new client of mine pinged me with, “How would you define experience?”

This, after I had shared with him this quote”

“Any economy without a prosperous experience sector cannot be a good economy. The present global downturn proves the point we’ve been emphasizing for over two decades: Goods and Services are no longer enough to maintain economic prosperity.

Businesses must shift to the creation of experiential value in the marketplace as the continuing engine of economic growth and job creation.”

- Pine and Gilmore, May 24, 2020.

Herewith, is my response to him.

Hey, <name withheld — he’s MY client!)… A long answer to a short question…buckle up; it’s going to get granular…

From where I stand, “experience” is literally everything; and everything is experience. Touching an ice cube is an experience, breathing is an experience. Every person has their experience of any and every thing they encounter.

Then, there’s nuance.

My experience of something will differ from your experience of that same thing as it is experienced through our individual filters…physiological (taste buds, vision), psychological, spiritual and so on. For instance, one person may see a beautiful sunset and think of it as a gift from their God, while another may see it as a visually beautiful confluence of physics and chemistry, while yet another may see it as an indication of tomorrow’s weather (“Red sky at morning, sailors take warning; red sky at night, sailor’s delight”).

So, the exact, same phenomenon is experienced differently by different people at the same time… I could go on…(and have, on occasion!).

Now, “Experience,” — as conceived, created and crafted — is another Thing.

Boiled down; I see crafted “Experience” as, ultimately, the absence of distraction. Full immersion. You’ll hear me talk about Circumventing Preconception and Comfortable Disorientation…things that are both methodology and intended result. Essentially, the further I can “get into the heads” of my audiences the more profound the Experience can be…

The more personal and intimate I can make an Experience, the more powerful and effective it can be. Simply put, many shows/spectacles/experiences can be seen or watched and give massive, yet transient pleasure; while those few that are felt leave their footprints in the hearts, souls and memories of the audience…as they’ve been given something they can’t identify without recognizing it…a subtle seed that remains and perhaps grows as time passes.

People will shout and cheer at a fantastic spectacle. They will remember and talk about it as great or “awesome.” But touch them with it and their eyes turn inward in reflection as their subconscious connects; attempting to describe it…without words…

I wrote a poem, once, about this experience — which I shall bore you with in closing.

The final stanza being:

“But there was a moment, in every city

When what we did went to profound from pretty

When guests became silent, when hearts skipped a beat

When each person settled more into the seat.

The air in the room became quieter, still;

And breath was abated as hearts took the thrill.

That’s when we touched them, that’s when we knew

We’d delivered completely on our Mission, true.

No one will ever accomplish again

What we have given to those where we’ve been…”

But that’s just me. ;-)
KO

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MEANWHILE: This Just In…Hot off the Presses

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An accomplished Experience Architect, this guy creates compelling storytelling experiences, shows, ceremony and spectacle. Holds strong opinions… He’s The Guy!

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Kile Ozier

Kile Ozier

An accomplished Experience Architect, this guy creates compelling storytelling experiences, shows, ceremony and spectacle. Holds strong opinions… He’s The Guy!

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