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Why does it seem simple to define the goal, but in practice it is the big challenge of every visitor center?

Why is it challenging to set a goal for a visitor center? 

The truth - there are some complications. The first is usually that the client/entrepreneur wants to define some goals because they are all terribly important and meaningful.

When I arrived at the first meeting with a steering team of entrepreneurs who wanted to establish a new center, after sitting and listening to all the important things, I took out a tennis ball from my bag - plain yellow.

I handed it as a surprise to one of the people sitting in the room who was also 'by chance' the director of the event, and despite the surprise - he caught it, smiled and handed it back to me. 

But then I pulled out three more balls from the bag and handed him the four ball together. And guess what - of course... he didn't catch even one. The point was understood.

Over 10 years ago, people from the Katif Yishvi Committee approached me and my (very) talented friend Amir Al-Safri, and asked us to write a content program for a visitor center that tells the story of the displacement of Gush Katif settlements. It was a few years after the displacement, and already at the first meeting they were surprised by the question we asked them: What is the purpose of the center?

What is the question? - They told us right away - it's obvious, isn't it? To tell the story of the settlements and the settlers.

So it's not.

Telling the story of a place is only the way by which we seek to achieve the goal, while the definition of the ultimate goal is a much more challenging task.

Here are some examples of the possibilities of a 'Goal Bank' that we presented to the steering committee of the entrepreneurs:

To reduce the chance that there will be displacements of additional settlements in the future.

To understand the root of the dispute that led to the displacement of the settlements.

To stimulate discussion about the meaning of mutual guarantee.

And there were several other options.

A precise definition of a precise goal allows to produce a work process in which every step and every item is connected to the supreme goal. And why is it so significant you may ask?

A physicist friend told me about a physics professor who works with her, and every time he wants to make claims or criticize someone - he starts with the words: "No offense, you're just an idiot...". Schwein.. We were not offended

So I'll give an example - without identifying details of course.

Another visitor center, no matter which denomination, chose to tell a significant historical story, but following lengthy discussions and debates, chose not to decide the question of the purpose of the place. The result, as you can imagine, is that although there are interesting films, intelligent performances and more, when the visitor finishes the tour of the place, he does not understand what they really wanted from him.

To summarize the matter briefly - defining a precise and clear goal - creates a work process and goal-oriented products - and brings the visitor to a focused experience that corresponds to the definition and vision of the entrepreneurs.

So let's set good goals and execute properly.

England's visitor center at the Expo - a huge investment in limited and unattractive content

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