Using Interactives to Stimulate and Engage AudiencesMay 12, 2020
We have seen, in the last 20 years, attractions take the lead by offering fully immersive experiences. We are living in a time where attractions don’t need a massive budget to stimulate and engage their audiences. Through intelligent design and a strong choice of AV technology, many smaller-scale operators can achieve the same level of excitement and experience. If we look at escape rooms for example, without a storyline, a script or an underlying concept then the experience is only a collection of unrelated exhibits and games, regardless of budget. But with a theme, the attraction then becomes engaging.
One of the most important aspects of creating a successful and engaging attraction is creating a journey. It’s so important to try and engage all of our senses when possible. The visitor journey starts as soon as guests enter the building, with the sight of new surroundings, sounds of yet to be discovered experiences and glimpses of the beckoning AV only add to the opportunity for exploration.
Through our involvement in projects, we thrive on being able to help steer the design to make an interactive deliver as much as possible to the guests. We really love it when our interactives engage with groups of visitors, such as families, after all, having an interactive that includes us all is far more exciting and involving. We also focus on giving everyone a chance to enjoy our exhibits. Through intelligent design, those with disabilities can have the same experience and opportunities as all visitors do.
We’ve really seen the bar raised in recent years, in terms of interactives. There has been a shift from more traditional, mechanical based exhibits to new ‘high tech’ ones. As new technology advances, we have way more to play with. We are seeing an increased use of camera positional and skeletal feedback, immersive touch walls, ID technology and facial recognition. Through broadening our own services, offering in house software development, we are now able to utilise bespoke designed and programmed AV software, more frequently and with greater complexity. 4K projectors and screens are now more readily available to us, meaning we can render at greater resolutions and produce immersive environments in real-time that can react differently to guests. All of which really enhances the visitor experience, making for an interactive that engages, and won’t be forgotten any time soon.
I’ve had the pleasure of working on the ‘Burning Building’ for KidZania in both London and Abu Dhabi. Each were slightly different in their requirements. At the London location, there was an installation of full light, sound, special FX and show control which proved to be a fantastic hit with the guests. It was great fun to program and create the audio soundtrack which is played through an array of waterproof speakers.
We’ve seen the use of VR, interactive rides and immersive spaces, to varying degrees of success. I am a promoter of high tech interactives, but only when the AV compliments the importance of language through experiences. Creating an immersive, engaging and stimulating experience requires a combination of things, not just interactives on their own, although, they certainly do help!