September 20, 2016 • History Factory
1. Escape Flatland
An exhibit is a unique way to make a big impression on audiences. It can draw people into your story with an imaginative and innovative approach. Think creatively about pushing your history into an exhibit that is completely new, immersive, exceptional and engaging. An exhibit can literally be larger than life.
Use your history in a new way that will make people stop and want to know more about your organization. A three-dimensional experience can be far more engaging and informative. When people can see, hear, smell and touch in an immersive environment, ideas can have more impact.
Museum- and exhibit-goers connect emotionally with history when they see “the real thing.” A historical artifact allows visitors to access the past and brings history to life. It can spark curiosity and promote interesting conversation. In a social media-rich world, being in close contact with actual artifacts can still create a sense of awe.
2. Educate and Entertain
According to the American Alliance of Museums, American museums receive more than 850 million visitors annually. This exceeds the number of visitors who attend major league sporting events and theme parks every year. Tap into this enthusiasm; create experiences that entertain and educate your audiences.
History doesn’t have to be boring. Think about the ways you can engage different audiences with immersive experiences that bring your history to life. Interactivity and games will prompt interaction and discussion.
Exhibits—from history to business, science to fine arts—communicate valuable lessons about commitment, values, strategy, creativity, loyalty, success, failure and tenacity. By creating participatory experiences, your visitors will have fun while being exposed to your mission. Even better? A well-crafted exhibit will provide access to other communication channels that extend beyond the exhibit. People can “visit” and explore other areas of interest.
3. Highlight Your Uniqueness
What differentiates your company from other organizations? What makes you special? What are the ideas and goals that define your values? Curate your story so these values become front and center. Consider how the roots of your business culture can be illustrated to show your unique perspectives and successes.
Bring your company’s founders to life using interactives and media. There is significant opportunity to celebrate your uniqueness and draw people into a fascinating story arc. An exhibit can be your solution. People will stop and take note when the story is engaging.
Illustrate the challenges that you overcame. Exhibits capture attention through new ways of looking at history and objects of significance. Interactive games and media experiences allow visitors to engage with history and use strategies to learn how to overcome obstacles.
When carefully woven together, exhibits and media can tell a unique, personalized story that leaves a lasting impression on any visitor.
4. Look to the Future
Where is your organization headed? Where do you want to be in five years, 10 years, 25 years? Think about the successes and obstacles that you overcame to bring your company to where it is now. Consider how the past can inform and guide your future. An exhibit is a powerful tool to celebrate and explore past accomplishments.
Through effective exhibit design, your company’s history can be leveraged to aid in future growth and development. Investing in a well-designed exhibit, both in content and physical design, reflects a seriousness and commitment to an ideal.
Today’s audiences are more sophisticated than ever. Employ new media and technology in beautifully designed ways. Provide surprises and challenge perceptions. Even engage participants in ways that will include them in the trajectory of your story. You can include their perspectives and gather important impressions and understandings about their expectations.
This can also be a tool to understand your target audience’s viewpoints and assumptions about your company. Interactives are no longer merely entertainment; they are important information-gathering tools that can be used for real-time data and emerging trends.
5. History is Happening Now
Build on your upcoming anniversaries and/or milestones. Many of these events only happen once, so plan wisely. Exhibits create a rich, engaging and collaborative environment that brings people together. Exhibits during major moments and commemorations create buzz and three-dimensional, celebratory experiences that no one will want to miss.
Let your audience see, touch, hear and experience historical moments in person. Encourage your visitors to interact with your corporate heritage to bring watershed moments to life. For example: firsthand accounts of key decisions, personal letters illustrating significant moments, and authentic artifacts that represent critical milestones will exemplify real-time struggles and triumphs. By participating in these interactions, your visitors will be able to connect with your company’s legacy.