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Caution! Technology can be confusing

In one city, south of Tel Aviv, there was a plan to establish a visitor center that tells the story of the place. The stated goal was to create an attractive tourist site that would attract visitors and bring the story of the city.

I was introduced to the project in its advanced stage, where there was already an approved program and detailed plans for implementation.

I carefully read the plans and discovered that the executing company managed to completely confuse the client (the municipality) with the help of elaborate designs and the use of innovative technology.

When I sat in front of the municipality's culture director and the project manager, I asked them simple questions: What is your goal in establishing the center? What is the main story of the city that you want to convey? What is unique about the place?

For me, defining a goal: "to attract tourists and visitors" is not a good enough definition.

It's a definition that focuses on the result they want to achieve, instead of exploring the city's story in depth and bringing it to visitors in the best possible way.

The presentation I saw included the use of many words of 'advanced technology', 'innovative displays' and 'invested designs' - and few words that dealt with the essence of the city.

Even the description of the main performance focused on the external sides and the simulations of the auditorium space, instead of telling about the purpose of the performance and the essence of the content that will appear in it.

Every city wants to brand itself as an innovative city, a place of high-tech, a green city and more - but all these are common to many cities and do not distinguish the story of that city.

It was only when we had a discussion about the values ​​of the people who founded the city that we revealed the uniqueness of the place, the pioneers, the unique spirit of combining people who came from different parts of the world and built together a city that has representation for different and diverse values, and then we also understood - that the plans presented by the executing company They do not express the uniqueness of the spirit, of the people and of the place.

So how do you not fall into the blur of beautiful designs and use of technology?

First of all - define the goal in a precise and focused way and write it on the wall. The goal should be one or two sentences that clarify why we are establishing the center.

Next, define the elements of the program (a detailed plan of the visitor's experience) and plan each space and each phase of the visit in a way that connects to the goal line and promotes the message.

Every space of the center, including the entrance, corridors, the central exhibition space and even the bathrooms should be connected to the goal written on the wall.

When we succeed in creating a center where every part and every space is aimed at conveying a clear central message - the visit to the center will be effective and exciting, and even the visitor who is not aware of all the work processes will understand the story and experience the sensations exactly as we wanted.

A visitor center that creates an experiential and powerful visit will also result in the secondary result we wanted - more visitors and tourists.


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