Imagination Is a Muscle: How Immersive Experiences Engage Visitors
Whether you’re an integrator, a designer or simply a label-defying creative, the EXPERIENCE is everything. Host Bryan Meszaros explores the story behind the exhibit to understand how a carefully crafted experience traps into the human experience to connect people to place.
Host Bryan Meszaros welcomes Trent Oliver, Principal and Managing Director of Blue Telescope. For nearly two decades she’s led a team that designs, develops, and deploys award-winning technology-based exhibits.
This wide-ranging and insightful conversation covers everything from binge-watching during the pandemic to the challenges of communicating creative ideas to clients. Prototyping and creative collaboration are key to the process so that clients aren’t surprised by the final product.
“If you want to get people out after being at home for a year it better be cool.” -Trent Oliver
“Imagination is a muscle,” Oliver said. While it is challenging to invent and innovate, sometimes the greater challenge is communicating something unfamiliar to a client and helping them see how it can be used to engage visitors.
The technology used in exhibits ranges from virtual reality to location sensors, touch screens, and projection — but the technology isn’t the experience. Oliver points out that screens for the sake of technology aren’t enough. “We can be far more inventive and reactive and have surprise and joy and have your behavior be part of the total interaction,” Oliver said. The most immersive experiences can’t be replicated at home and depend on the viewer’s interaction. Centering the experience on visitors means the focus isn’t on the technology but how it is used to communicate “Every visitor wants to be seen and participate and be part of, not be blared at.” Oliver said. “Technology isn’t the experience.”
Oliver sees the interactive experience model expanding in the future as museums, theme parks, and retail converge to create new experiences for customers and visitors that give them something unique and surprising that they won’t find on screens at home. As Oliver said, “If you want to get people out after being at home for a year it better be cool.”
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